Dawn­fresh ex­pan­sion set to go ahead

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

SCOT­TISH trout farmer Dawn­fresh is ex­pected to win ap­proval to in­crease its num­ber of fish pens on Loch Etive in Ar­gyll.

A meet­ing of Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s Plan­ning, Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices and Li­cens­ing Com­mit­tee rec­om­mended that plan­ning per­mis­sion be granted to re­place 10 x 80m cages with 12 x 80m cages of an al­ter­na­tive de­sign.

Also, the in­stal­la­tion of a hopper feed sys­tem and a biomass of 1,545 tonnes was rec­om­mended for ap­proval at the site, Etive 4 at Airds Bay.

The ap­pli­ca­tion had re­ceived more than 330 ob­jec­tions, mostly chan­nelled through the Friends of Loch Etive cam­paign group.

But sub­ject to cer­tain con­di­tions, ob­jec­tions by the group, and by the Ar­gyll Dis­trict Salmon Fish­ery Board, were with­drawn.

‘Both par­ties ap­pear re­as­sured by the man­ner in which the ap­pli­ca­tion has been han­dled, and sub­ject to some mi­nor changes be­ing made to the rec­om­mended con­di­tions to ad­dress their con­cerns, the Fish­ery Board would be will­ing to with­draw its orig­i­nal ob­jec­tion,’ said the coun­cil’s re­port.

And the Friends of Loch Etive, rep­re­sented by Guy Lin­ley-Adams (who also rep­re­sents the anti-salmon farm lobby group Salmon and Trout Con­ser­va­tion Scot­land), ‘would be con­tent to see the ap­pli­ca­tion de­ter­mined in the first in­stance, with­out the op­por­tu­nity for them and their mem- bers to ap­pear at a lo­cal hear­ing’.

The con­di­tions im­posed on Dawn­fresh in­clude en­sur­ing the fin­ished sur­faces of the hop­pers and floats are of a dark re­ces­sive colour.

And prior to the first stock­ing of any more than 10 of the 12 per­mit­ted cages or any in­crease in cur­rent per­mit­ted biomass across the site as a whole, Dawn­fresh must ‘sub­mit a strat­egy for mon­i­tor­ing and man­ag­ing the in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the op­er­a­tion of the farm and the wild fish en­vi­ron­ment’.

This strat­egy should ad­dress re­sponses to breaches of con­tain­ment and sea lice con­trol mea­sures at the site, as well as set out a pro­gramme for the mon­i­tor­ing of changes in the preva­lence of sea lice in­fes­ta­tions among wild salmonids within a zone of 30km from the farm.

Above: Dawn­fresh farm­ing di­rec­tor Ali­son Hutchins

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