A report by the Royal Society on the use of GM animals in medical research and agriculture calls for a ban on rearing GM fish in sea fish farms for, it claims, escapees are damaging wild fish stocks.

More than 491,000 salmon made it over the wire from fish pens in Scotland last year.

Research into producing genetically modified salmon is currently being carried at Aberdeen, Stirling and Edinburgh universities.

The main cause for concern is that GM fish breed better but have lower survival rates than wild fish and interbreeding could lead to an increase in fish deaths.

Don Staniford, an aquaculture campaigner, said, “Unlike Dolly the sheep in a field, fish are programmed to migrate. So the farming of GM fish in the sea is the riskiest possible scenario,” he said. “A ban should be put in place immediately.”

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