Dounie

The Oban Times - - News -

AN AP­PLI­CA­TION for a li­cence for a new fish farm at Dounie, south of Cri­nan, has been sub­mit­ted to SEPA.

The ap­pli­ca­tion, from Kilmelford-based Kames Fish Farm­ing Ltd, pro­poses 12 cir­cu­lar cages, each 100m in cir­cum­fer­ence, served by an au­to­mated feed barge.

The salmonids would be grown for 16 months in ev­ery 24, with a max­i­mum stock­ing den­sity of 16.36kg m³. SEPA lists the con­trolled ac­tiv­ity as a ‘dis­charge of trade ef­flu­ent from ma­rine cage fish farm­ing of salmon or trout with a max­i­mum biomass of 2,500 tonnes, in­clud­ing residues aris­ing from medicines and sea lice treat­ments’.

A vol­un­teer group ded­i­cated to ‘pro­mot­ing the longterm well-be­ing of lo­cal wa­ters’ called CROMACH, or Craig­nish Restora­tion Of Ma­rine And Coastal Habi­tats, ob­jects the site is un­suit­able.

Sec­re­tary Wil­liam Goudy said: ‘It lies within the new Loch Su­nart to Sound of Jura Ma­rine Pro­tected Area, the area has a high con­cen­tra­tion of ex­ist­ing fish farms, and it will be sited close to the cur­rently very clean River Add Es­tu­ary, an im­por­tant wild salmon and trout river.’

He ar­gued: ‘Open net salmon farm­ing is known to cause sig­nif­i­cant pol­lu­tion due to un­eaten food, fae­cal mat­ter, and chem­i­cal residues en­ter­ing the wa­ter col­umn. A clear link be­tween the pro­duc­tion of farmed salmon and the re­duc­tion of sur­vival and abun­dance of wild salmon and sea trout in Scot­land has been demon­strated.’ Any de­cline, he con­tin­ued, would re­sult in a loss of rev­enue for tourism.

The dead­line for rep­re­sen­ta­tions to SEPA is Fri­day Jan­uary 20.

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