Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 11:27 UK

'Bullet-proof' salmon nets tested

Farmed salmon (Pic: Scottish Salmon)
The nets have been designed to reduce escapes of farmed fish

Nets made from a material used in the manufacture of bullet-proof armour and aircraft cockpit doors is being tested on fish farms.

The trials in Sutherland and on the Western Isles are being run at a cost of 100,000.

Part-funded by the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, the sector hopes the tougher nets will cut down on escapes of farmed fish.

The Scottish Government is one of the partners in the project.

Fourteen nets to contain farmed fish are involved in the trials in Badcall Bay, Scourie, and on Harris.

The aim of the design is to stop damage - including marine aniamls biting through - from occurring.

Last year, up to 30,000 salmon were thought to have escaped from a fish farm on the Western Isles sparking concerns among anglers about an adverse impact on wild fish.

Seals were blamed for making two large holes in a salmon cage.

The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards and the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland said escaped fish could jeopardise the genetic integrity and survival of wild salmon.

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