The Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation is calling for 100% of farmed salmon producers to sign up to the code of practice to provide a robust answer to the industry's critics.

The SSPO has announced that 95% of the salmon farming industry has now signed up to the code of good practice, by which the sector aims to set up such good self-governance that further regulatory intervention by the Scottish authorities will be unnecessary.

Sid Patten, chief executive of SSPO, said: "Salmon farming is entering a new era. It is great news that 95% of Scottish farmed salmon production from mainland Scotland, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland have signed up. Salmon farming is making great progress in demonstrating its commitment to good practice and environmental stewardship and a robust, independently audited code is the most flexible and efficient means of achieving a sustainable salmon farming industry."

Andrew Wallace, director of the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards, said: "This is the start of an iterative process which, we very much hope, will lead to a growing confidence in the Scottish salmon farming industry over the years to come.

"We look forward to a transparent and effective review of the industry's compliance with the code to demonstrate that the industry is responsive to the results of that process."

Martin Gill, executive director of Food Certification (Scotland), the independent auditor of the code, said: "With a large proportion of the industry signed up to participate, our inspectors are now working full-time to complete the first round of assessments on the salmon farms.

"These first assessments will provide an indication of a farm's level of compliance and identify all the ­relevant areas in which improvements need to be implemented.

"Given the scope and depth of the requirements, my initial impressions on the existing level of compliance being found is very encouraging."