Articles

European Commission Response to Complaint

APRIL 2016 :

In April 2013 we lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission following the catastrophe that happened at Ardmaddy at the end of 2011 when over 80,000 mature salmon died in the fish cages there. The incident raised serious issues regarding public health and safety, given that ever 250 tonnes of potentially toxic category 2 waste was created, sufficient to require a fleet of lorries in a location with virtually no road access.

We discovered that none of the public bodies responsible for public health had been taking any steps to monitor movements or disposal of such waste, partly because the west coast of Scotland had been registered as "remote" and the UK government had negotiated a derogation from the EU regulation that was made in 2002 after the BSE crisis.

Since 2002 fish farming has grown massively and the effect of the derogation was that the operators of industrial fish cages could effectively do what they wanted.

The Commission has now agreed with us and effectively upheld the complaint.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL EC RESPONSE (PDF)

During the period of nearly three years that the complaint has been current we received occasional detailed requests for information and knew that something was happening. We discovered that an "EU Pilot" had been set up but I was refused answers to specific questions about, for example, which government departments were involved.

The Final Response discloses that quite a bit has been going on behind the scenes. Astonishingly the activity included a "public consultation" that took place without much (any?) publicity. The link to it is here:

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/08/3426/downloads

I have just sent the official in charge of it the following email:

Dear Mr Murdoch

The above Consultation has just been brought to my attention by the European Commission and I'm afraid that I have to record my disappointment that the saveseilsound campaign group was not included in the list of parties invited to respond, since it was the complaint that I lodged on behalf of the group that triggered it. In fact you appear to have excluded all non-governmental environmental organisations from the list and consulted almost exclusively with commercial companies involved in intensive food production. One is led to the conclusion that it is Scottish Government policy to exclude concerned members of the public from such matters.

I should like to inspect the responses received from the parties who did respond, but cannot see these on your website. Will you kindly forward these or let me have an online reference where I can find them?

I look forward to hearing from you.

This complaint has taken a lot of time on the part of the main contributors and I would like to thank those who gave assistance, invariably gratuitously.

Ewan Kennedy