Earlier this month, in what was described as a ‘landmark victory’, The Scottish Government welcomed a Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) report on the use of acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs), also known as seal scarers, in salmon farming.

ADDs, although similarly named, are very different from Acoustic Fish Deterrents, and Fish Guidance Systems are pleased that these indiscriminate devices are now effectively banned in Scotland.

What is an ADD?

An ADD is a sonic device that is used to keep seals away from fish farms in Scotland. The system uses high pitched noises to prevent seals from attacking salmon farms. Seals eat up to 500,000 Salmon each year and the seal population is a genuine threat to industries and livelihoods who rely on the lucrative Scottish fishing industry.

The issue with ADDs is that they are focused on pushing away mammals from the farm – this includes Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales – which are protected from being harmed by legislation.

Critics have described the systems as ‘sonic torture’ as they are designed to be uncomfortable, and critics have stated that the devices can cause hearing damage.

Why are AFDs different from ADDs

Acoustic Fish Deterrents (AFDs) use a completely different systematic and ethical approach to the controlling of animals. Fish Guidance Systems uses our PrISM software to design a sound field and tune the frequencies in our signals to deter specific fish species. This can also be used conversely to ensure that frequencies that could impact surrounding sea life can be kept to a minimum.

An Ethical Difference

AFDs are designed to guide and deflect fish species. Although the main aim of our invasive species efforts is to remove them from the water, the system itself is designed to do no permanent harm to any species. In other instances our systems are designed to keep fish from entering power or agricultural infrastructure, or construction areas.

ADDs on the other hand are designed to be uncomfortable, which we believe is unethical. In addition they use no tailored to only affect one species – this means protected species are being unduly affected.

Fish Guidance Systems works tirelessly to help mitigate the impact of humans on the natural world through our technology and we look forward to working with organisations across the globe to improve the quality of our ecosystems.

Categories: NewsUK