Aqua­cul­ture ex­pan­sion

The Arran Banner - - News -

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.

Yours,

Stu­art Turner, Lam­lash.

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