Farm plan op­posed by Jura deer stalker

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

PLANS by Kames Fish Farm­ing to build the first fish farm off the Isle of Jura’s un­in­hab­ited west coast are be­ing op­posed by cam­paign­ers.

Kames sub­mit­ted its pro­pos­als to Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil last month, af­ter with­draw­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion late last year to site a farm in the Sound of Jura.

The com­pany is ‘screen­ing and scop­ing opin­ion’ for a 14-pen fin fish farm north of Cor­pach Bay, 15km south west of the Gulf of Cor­ryvreckan, with the prospect of six jobs.

How­ever, Jura res­i­dents Craig Rozga, a deer stalker, and Louise Muir, an RSPB war­den with a back­ground in en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion, have col­lected a pe­ti­tion against the move, the Oban Times re­ported.

They are said to be con­cerned about the im­pact of a fish farm on wildlife on Jura.

Kames’ pre­vi­ous ap­pli­ca­tion, op­posed by a 3,000-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion col­lected by the Friends of the Sound of Jura, was for a trout farm at Dounie.

The new plan pro­poses two rows of 14 x 38m di­am­e­ter cir­cu­lar pens, in a 70m square grid per pen, with a 43.4m by 15m and 10m high feed barge, 100-120m off­shore.

The Kilmelford based com­pany is a fam­ily busi­ness and lo­cal em­ployer that has been op­er­at­ing in Loch Melfort for 45 years.

The com­pany’s manag­ing di­rec­tor, Stu­art Can­non, who has been in­volved in fish farm­ing for 50 years, told the Oban Times: ‘We are very much aware there is a bal­ance to be struck, and would not want to place a site where there would be a risk to the amaz­ing bio­di­ver­sity we have on the west coast.

‘We have with­drawn ap­pli­ca­tions in the past where the sci­en­tific assess­ment of the site has sug­gested the site is not suit­able.

‘We re­quire new sites to meet the grow­ing de­mand for our prod­uct and want to place these sites in ar­eas deemed suit­able by the ap­pli­ca­tion process.’

Rozga is head stalker on Ruan­tallain Es­tate, de­scribed on its web­site as a ‘spec­tac­u­lar sport­ing es­tate of 20,000 acres’ which of­fers ‘ex­cel­lent stalk­ing’ for stags and wild goats and ‘su­perb wild brown trout fish­ing and sea trout fish­ing’.

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