The Marlborough Sounds is home to one of the world’s rarest seabirds, but if a proposal to relocate salmon farms in the region goes ahead their future could be grim, an ornithologist says. The king shag is confined to the Sounds, and despite survey methods changing over time its population appears to have remained relatively stable since it was first counted in the 1770s. However, local ornithologist Rob Schuckard is worried the king shag, with a population of about 900, could end up being ‘‘scooped out of the water’’ if the Government’s salmon plans go ahead. A dangerous species of algae which could destroy the water-proof coating of their feathers had already been spotted in the Sounds, and could spread, Schuckard said. Miserable winter The final ship in the cruise calendar could mark the start of a winter more miserable than usual, concerned business owners in Picton say. The Marlborough port town is bracing itself for the removal of international cruise tourists while it continues to feel the fallout of the State Highway 1 redirection. The Radiance of the Seas and its 2500 passengers disembark in Picton for the final stop in the 2016/17 season on Friday. The clothing boutique used to receive many shoppers from Kaikoura and Christchurch but did not anymore, Briggs said. ‘‘It is absolutely less busy. You have to expect that it could be a quiet winter with the road being closed,’’ she said.