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Correspondence with Kames Fish Farming Ltd
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Our original open letter to Stuart Cannon, Managing Director of Kames Fish Farming Ltd dated 14 September 2017

Mr Stuart Cannon,

Kames Fish Farming Ltd


14 September 2017

Dear Mr Cannon,

You are no doubt aware that the Friends of the Sound of Jura is a community group that objects to your proposal to site a fish farm at Dounie. Indeed we believe that nowhere in the Sound of Jura is appropriate for fish farming.

You have described Marine Harvest as your backers regarding this proposal.

On 12th August, Steve Bracken of Marine Harvest was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today. He said: “We will not create a new farm, establish a new farm, unless we have community support.  At the end of the day they’re the people that are living there.  If the community said they’re not in favour of the salmon farm we wouldn’t attempt to try and start one up.”

Dounie is inside the North Knapdale Community Council area. A majority of those on the electoral roll in this ward have signed petitions objecting to this development. The same is true on Jura.

Marine Harvest’s public statement seems fair to us. Our community would have to live with this farm. Our community has shown clearly that we are not in favour of it.

Please withdraw your proposal.

Yours sincerely,

The Friends of the Sound of Jura

Response from Kames Fish Farming Ltd dated 27 September 2017

FAO – Friends of the Sound of Jura Community Group

27 September 2017

I am writing in response to your email regarding our proposal for Dounie, a new marine fish farm site.

Firstly, I would like to confirm that Kames Fish Farming Limited has no financial tie with Marine Harvest Scotland Limited. While we are neighbouring operators with whom we have a good working relationship, they are not our ‘backers’. My understanding of the quote you refer to by Marine Harvest, is that this was in relation to community support regarding a proposal on an island community, but this is entirely their business and I therefore cannot comment.

In regard to Kames Fish Farming Limited and our proposal, I would like to stress that community support is very important to us. We are a Scottish family owned business operating in the local area for 45 years. Over that time we have supported a great many local community events and organisations, employed staff locally who, along with their families, continue to live, work and play in this area. This in turn supports the local economy, schools, clubs and local businesses, Kames always endeavour to trade with local businesses when possible. Kames believe there are a great many people in the local area who do support aquaculture and who do not object to this proposal.

Finally, with regard to the proposal for Dounie, we currently have an application submitted to SEPA for determination, and this process is ongoing at present.  We have instructed a more detailed visual survey with more sophisticated equipment to undertake a more extensive survey of the seabed for analysis, particularly in relation to Northern Sea Fans.  This will be assessed by SEPA in consultation with Scottish Natural Heritage and we await SEPAs further response following submission. As we have stated previously, the impact of such proposals is modelled scientifically. If there is sound scientific evidence  that suggests that there would be a significant or irreparable damage to the environment, it would be at this point Kames would consider with-drawing the application.

Yours faithfully

Stuart Cannon

Managing Director

Kames Fish Farming Limited

Our second letter to Kames Fish Farming Ltd dated 30 September 2017

Dear Mr Cannon

Thank you for your reply.

If Marine Harvest and Kames have no financial relationship, perhaps you could explain why they would state that ‘Marine Harvest currently operate the Rubh an Trilleachain site owned by Kames Fish Framing Ltd’?

This comes from the document ‘Marine Harvest response to SEPA assessment of 2016 compliance monitoring survey: Rubh an Trilleachain. Licence number: CAR/L/1109280′, on the SEPA disclosure log (FOI188026).

Do Marine Harvest really run your farm at Rubh an Trilleachain without any financial incentive for either party?

Since they are copied in, perhaps Mr Hadfield or Mr Bracken would also care to comment about this?

If you have no financial relationship, please clarify what you meant when you described Marine Harvest as your backers during the public meetings at which you spoke about Dounie.

It is good that you are community minded but in the communities that are closest to Dounie there is no discernible support for your plans. It’s also good that Marine Harvest feels it is important to respect the opinion of island communities – but why should either of you dismiss the clearly stated opinions of other small coastal communities?

Yours sincerely

The Friends of the Sound of Jura

Response from Kames Fish Farming Ltd to our second letter

27 October 2017

FAO Friends of the Sound Of Jura Community Group

I am writing with regard to your email of 30th September 2017.  Firstly, my apologies for the delay in responding, I have been away from the office.  It would be helpful if you could send any future correspondence copied to our email address which is checked frequently, it can then be brought to my attention for a more timely response.

Your email again queries our financial relationship with Marine Harvest (Scotland) Limited (MHS). As stated in my email correspondence of 27th September 2017, Kames Fish Farming Limited (Kames) are an independent Scottish company and MHS are not our ‘backers’. Kames, as a business, enters into agreements and/or contracts with many other businesses and/or individuals, both as suppliers and customers.  This can include contract growing agreements with other aquaculture companies including MHS, (incidentally from Kames perspective this can be with an aim to improve continuity of Kames production), but these are business agreements and in no way indicate Marine Harvest are our ‘backers’ in regard to our proposal for a new site at Dounie.

I would like to reiterate that we are pleased to enjoy an excellent working relationship with MHS; this is greatly valued as we are neighbours working in the same management area.

Yours faithfully

Stuart Cannon

Managing Director

Kames Fish Farming Limited

Friends of the Sound of Jura responded on 29 October 2017

Dear Mr Cannon

Thank you for confirming that your earlier response was inaccurate and that you do have financial ties with Marine Harvest, including at least one growing agreement. Clearly, if MHS can run your farm at Rubh an Trilleachain, there is nothing to stop such a business agreement being made regarding Dounie in future, once your Scottish family owned business has secured planning permission.

As you have not responded to our second question, about respecting the opinion of the communities closest to the site of your proposal, we thought you would be interested to read some extracts from the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation’s Community Engagement Charter, published last year.

We appreciate that Kames is not a member of the SSPO, but wonder whether you disagree with any of the following statements in their Charter, given that the SSPO says ‘we believe that these commitments are achievable at all sites’?

The Charter says:

‘We will work with local communities to protect the natural environment in which we are based. So we can be stewards of our shared resources and be ‘good citizens’; the better we are at this, the greater the chance that communities will trust us with their natural and physical environment in the future.’

‘Stewardship of local resources is a key factor in aquaculture development and it is essential that these resources are considered to include the local community as well as the natural environment.’

 ‘…community support and endorsement is important for the farms to operate – a two-way relationship is needed.’ A community should ‘…be given the ‘ability to influence size, scale and location of farms through local expert opinion’.

‘At the heart of our work is respecting, listening and responding appropriately to issues and concerns raised during the Community Engagement process.’

Please tell us whether any of these principles should not apply to Dounie, given that the community that would be most affected is the closest to it, in Knapdale.

Yours sincerely

The Friends of the Sound of Jura

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