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A Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture


A Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture

Appendix 5: Glossary


Amnesiac Shellfish Poisoning.

Algal blooms:

concentrations of phytoplankton which produce toxins which can affect human health, oxygen levels in water and which can kill or harm fish and invertebrates e.g. by damaging or clogging gills.


(in this context) materials occurring in the natural environment which have originated from human activities.


the rearing or culture of aquatic organisms using techniques designed to increase the production of the organisms in question beyond the natural capacity of the environment, the organisms remaining the property of a natural or legal person throughout the rearing or culture stage, up to and including harvesting.

Area Management Agreement:

agreement established, under the Tripartite Working Group initiative, between fish farming companies and District Salmon Fishery Boards/Fishery Trusts with the objective of promoting and maintaining the good health of both wild and farmed salmonids.

Assimilative capacity:

the ability of an area to maintain a healthy environment and accommodate wastes.

Biodiversity (biological diversity):

the variability amongst living organisms, including the variability within species, between species, and of ecosystems.

Biological carrying capacity:

the maximum natural biological productivity of a body of water; if cultivated organisms (shellfish or other species which take their food from their surroundings) exceed the carrying capacity of this water body, then the biological productivity will be depleted and the natural ecosystem damaged.

Carrying capacity:

the potential maximum production a species or population can maintain in relation to available food resources within an area.

Chemo therapeutants:

compounds used by the finfish industry to treat or prevent various diseases; these can be authorised veterinary medicines (for example anti-parasitics and anti-microbials) or other chemicals (for example biocides/disinfectants or anaesthetic agents); their discharge into waters around the fish farm requires a discharge consent issued under the Control of Pollution Act 1974.


holding bivalve molluscs such as mussels in sterilised sea water for 48 hours under conditions that allow them to filter normally to remove any bacteria accumulated in the gut; the sea water can be sterilised by ozone or ultra-violet light although the latter is the most common method used.


docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid containing 22 carbons which is abundant in fish oils.


a community of interdependent organisms, together with the environment they inhabit and with which they interact ; this complex, integrated unit exists in a fine balance, so that even small changes to one part of the system can have knock-on effects on many other components of the system.

Ecosystem approach:

identifying and protecting critical processes in the ecosystem and the interactions between them.

El Nino:

a disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific having important consequences for global weather: e.g. a rise in sea surface temperatures along the Chile/Peru coast leading to a decline in the productivity of these fisheries.


(Ensiling) the process of creating a stable material from animal or vegetable wastes by using the maceration and preservation in formic acid of dead fish and factory offal until it can be processed to an acceptable end point.

EN 45011:

European Standard for bodies operating product certification systems.


eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid containing 20 carbons which is abundant in fish oils.


the enrichment of water by nutrients, especially compounds of nitrogen and phosphorus, causing an accelerated growth of algae and higher forms of plant life to produce an undesirable disturbance to the balance of organisms and the quality of the water concerned.


practice of leaving cages empty of fish for a period of time to break cycles of disease and/or to allow the seabed to recover.


United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, based in Rome, which monitors food resources, including fish world-wide, and provides independent scientific assessments of the status of individual fish stocks.


(the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance): Structural Funds through which the EU attempts to channel financial assistance to those regions which are less developed or in industrial decline, and to support training schemes for those seeking re-entry into employment.

Fish gap:

the extent to which fish of one or more species are available at a level lower than the market demands, because wild fisheries for these species have been closed, partially or fully, in response to wild stocks' falling beneath safe biological limits.

Foodservice sector:

a way of defining the part of the food-purchasing industry where the consumer buys food which has already been cooked (or prepared), and which is ready to eat; also known as "the catering sector", it includes eat-in establishments such as restaurants, and eat-out establishments such as fish and chip shops.

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP):

food safety hazard analysis system.


Health Education Board for Scotland.


International Council for the Exploration of the Seas, an independent scientific organisation advising North Sea and North East Atlantic Governments on the status and management of commercial fish stocks.


Infectious Haemotopoietic Necrosis, a contagious disease which can cause high mortalities in susceptible juvenile salmonids, a member of the rhabdovirus group, currently absent from fish farms in the UK.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM):

a multi-user system designed to establish sustainable levels of economic and social activity in our coastal areas while protecting the coastal environment.

ISO 14001:

International Standards Organisation quality standards for environmental management systems.

List II:

specific fish diseases which are controlled at an EU level by way of Directives, implemented in Scotland under national Statutory Instruments.


Marine Stewardship Council, an independent body set up to establish basic principals for sustainable fishing and to provide standards for certification of individual fisheries as sustainable.


The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation, established under the Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean, which came into force in 1983, whose objective is to contribute to the conservation, restoration, enhancement and rational management of salmon stocks in the North Atlantic Ocean.


National Vocational Qualification.

Natura 2000 sites:

a network of protected areas established under the EC Habitats and Species, and Wild Birds Directives.

New species:

wild species being brought into cultivation for the first time.


non-Governmental organisations.


a species that does not originate in Scotland and which has been introduced from other parts of the world by humans, either deliberately or accidentally.


National Planning Policy Guidelines (to be known in future as Scottish Planning Policies (SPP)).


name given to a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids whose parent, omega-3 _ alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is described as 'essential' because, like vitamins, it must be obtained from diet.

OSPAR Convention:

the 1992 Oslo-Paris Convention, to which the UK is a signatory, aimed at preventing and eliminating pollution of the marine environment in the North-east Atlantic from land-based sources and by dumping from ships and aircraft.




the deliberate cultivation of more than one species of aquatic organism in close proximity, where each of the organisms in question has a distinct benefit to the commercial process.

Precautionary approach:

approach requiring inter alia:

  • consideration of the needs of future generations and avoidance of changes that are not potentially reversible;

  • prior identification of undesirable outcomes and of measures that will avoid them or correct them;

  • initiation of corrective measures without delay, so that these achieve their purpose promptly;

  • priority to conserving the productive capacity of the resource where the likely impact of resource use is uncertain;

  • appropriate placement of the burden of proof by adhering to the above requirements.

Precautionary principle:

the principle that all responsible parties should act prudently to avoid the possibility of irreversible environmental damage in situations where the scientific evidence is inconclusive but the potential damage could be significant.


the sowing out of juvenile shellfish, for example scallops, for on-growing and eventual harvesting.


a class or type of virus, one example of which is VHS (see below).

River basin:

area of land from which all surface run-off flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, freshwater lochs into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta.

River Basin Management Plans:

required by the Water Framework Directive, plans subject to review every six years setting out the environmental objectives for water bodies and providing a summary of the measures that are being used to achieve them.


members of the salmon family, specifically the Atlantic salmon and the sea trout.

Sea lice:

Lepeoptheirus salmonis Krøyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann, natural marine ectoparasites of salmon.

Social justice:

the equal and fair distribution of social values such as freedom, income and wealth and the opportunity to take part in society.

Sustainable development:

development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Scottish Vocational Qualification.


containing genetic material introduced from another species by techniques of genetic engineering.


Tartan Quality Mark _ symbol indicating compliance with Scottish Quality Salmon Product Certification Schemes for farmed salmon and smoked salmon, facilitating trace-back to source and assuring retailers and consumers that the salmon is Scottish and production processes have been rigorously and independently inspected at every stage.


United Kingdom Agricultural Supply Trade Association, represents the interests of animal feed manufacturers, agricultural merchants and road hauliers to the agricultural industry.


Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia, a potentially serious viral disease of trout in freshwater farms, but currently absent from farms in the UK, a List II disease, and a member of the rhabdovirus group (see appropriate references).

Visual carrying capacity:

the degree to which a particular landscape or area is able to accommodate development or change without significant effects on the character for which it is particularly valued by people or without causing an overall change to its landscape character type; this capacity will vary according to the type and nature of the development or change that is proposed.

Wild land:

uninhabited and often relatively inaccessible countryside where the influence of human activity on the character and quality of the environment has been minimal.