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Conservationists push for restrictions on wrasse 'free for all'

Groups say Scotland's salmon farms are pushing the cleaner fish to the brink of extinction.

Fans of wrasse, one of the UK’s most unusual species, fear the fish are being wiped out in a “goldrush” to supply Scotland’s salmon farms, which use them as “cleaner” fish to combat deadly sea lice, reports The Times.

Fishermen and conservationists alike are warning of huge declines as demand from Scotland’s aquaculture sector has seen catches of wild wrasse rocket in value from under £400 a metric ton in 2014 to more than £56,000 a metric ton the following year.

Critics want a ban or restrictions and monitoring to ensure the “free for all” — fuelled by the government’s bid to double salmon farms by 2030 — does not push wrasse to extinction.


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