Fish farm pro­posal is to be re­sisted

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir, In a let­ter pub­lished in the Ar­gyll­shire

Ad­ver­tiser (July 21), Alexan­der Hamil­ton dis­misses, in a very pa­tro­n­is­ing man­ner, my con­cerns about the pro­posal for a fish farm in the Sound of Jura Ma­rine Pro­tected Area.

I find the pro­pos­als un­ac­cept­able and have raised sev­eral is­sues with the rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment min­is­ter. I have met ob­jec­tors and I am more than will­ing to con­tinue to ar­gue the case against the de­vel­op­ment in ques­tion.

I would have thought that Mr Hamil­ton, if his ob­jec­tive is to en­sure a united front against this par­tic­u­lar plan, would have wel­comed that.

I am not, how­ever, go­ing to be part of a whole­sale re­jec­tion of every aqua­cul­ture pro­posal, which is the po­si­tion of some, like Mr Hamil­ton, who – as his let­ter il­lus­trates – of­ten take an abu­sive and very par­ti­san ap­proach to any­one who re­jects their fun­da­men­tal­ist views.

To de­scribe aqua­cul­ture as ‘seabed rape’, as Mr Hamil­ton does in his let­ter, is ex­treme, fool­ish and fun­da­men­tally un­true.

Aqua­cul­ture, in the right place and man­aged in the right way in ac­cor­dance with the strict reg­u­la­tory frame­work, pro­vides high qual­ity pro­duce, much-needed lo­cal em­ploy­ment and – in places such as Ar­gyll – helps the per­pet­ual fight against de­pop­u­la­tion and eco­nomic de­cline.

Fur­ther­more, nei­ther I nor the SNP will be the fi­nal ar­biter of any plan- ning or li­cens­ing ap­pli­ca­tion. That will be de­cided by the laws cur­rently in force, as it should and must be. Michael W Rus­sell, MSP for Ar­gyll and Bute.

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