SCOTTISH fish farms are spreading a deadly parasite that now kills more than a third of wild salmon in the north-east Atlantic, experts warned today.

A new international study found “unexpectedly large” numbers of wild salmon are dying in European waters every year, with 39 per cent killed by the flesh-eating lice.

A leading academic at the University of St Andrews, who took part in the research, said it showed Scotland’s multi-million-pound salmon farming industry needed to do more to prevent sea lice from destroying wild fish stocks – as well as protecting the sector.

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