Multiple Scottish salmon farming companies are under investigation by regulators for the possible misuse of chemicals.
The world’s biggest salmon farming company Mowi – whose head office is in Fort William – is one of a number of firms under investigation for possible misreporting of chemical use.
BBC Panorama was due to report last night that Mowi, formerly known as Marine Harvest, is among those being investigated by Scottish regulators. Mowi denied any wrongdoing and said it used medications sparingly.
Farmed salmon are treated with chemicals to ward off disease and infestations such as sea lice but there are limits on how much operators can use.
Mowi, the Norwegian-owned global company which produces up to 60,000 tonnes of salmon each year in the UK, said it had “confidence” in the numbers it had provided on medication use.
It said it was supporting regulators with a six-month audit.
Panorama examined the salmon farming industry and has learned Mowi is one of a number of companies under investigation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
SEPA’s enforcement team removed documents during an inspection of Mowi’s UK head office earlier this month.
Ian Roberts, head of communications at Mowi Scotland, said: “We have confidence in what we’re reporting for medications, it is used sparingly, we of course vaccinate our fish to protect them from health, fish health challenges.
“And we have confidence in the numbers that we’re providing so of course we’re supporting SEPA in their audit which has been ongoing for six months and involving the industry.”
Terry A’Hearn the chief executive of SEPA said: “If companies do the right thing, then they have nothing to worry about.
“If companies do the wrong thing, we’re there to find that out and make sure they improve their game. If that’s going to take tough action, you can be assured we’ll take it.”