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.