Sir, In response to Mr Anderson’s rather rose-tinted letter last week, I’d like to ask the question whether in the face of mounting scientific evidence against aquaculture the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) will actually listen to the feedback it gets in the course of its ‘programme of consultation with local residents and organisations’.
Will they follow the lead of the Scottish Government, which recently banned fracking in Scotland based partly on the enormous public response to their consultation? Or will they just pretend that they are interested and push on regardless, ignoring people’s concerns about the serious issues aquaculture faces with sea lice, chemical pollution, impact of escapes on wild salmon populations, damage to populations of cleaner fish and the fish that are used as food for the salmon, fish density that is, as far as I am aware, way beyond that recommended by the RSPCA etc etc? In a recent Sunday Herald article, it was reported that the fish farming industry in Scotland had to dispose of ‘up to 10 million salmon last year – nearly a quarter of its stock – because of diseases, parasites and other problems’. Apparently SSC’s contribution to this amounted to 5,873 tonnes in 2016. Is that really the sign of a sustainable and environmentally friendly industry?
If they really adhered to the ‘highest levels of environmental protection’, SSC would stop trying to increase the quantity of fish they hold in our Marine Protected Area (MPA) by around 116 per cent, in fact they would reduce it.
Why do local residents have to use their time and energy again and again to oppose the expansion plans of a company that seems solely interested in profit increase? Is it not time for the government to reassess its plans for the substantial increase in aquaculture on the west coast over the coming decade and stop the expansion of existing facilities and creation of new ones (particularly in MPAs) before it is too late?
I would like to send many thanks to Patricia Gibson MP and Kenneth Gibson MSP, who have both been very supportive of Arran’s fight against SSC’s latest expansion plans in Lamlash.
Stuart Turner, Lamlash.