GETTING INVOLVED WITH MARINE PLANNING

Sustainable jobs matter in areas like ours. The Friends of the Sound of Jura care about the health of the sea and understand that this is crucial to the long term future of many of our jobs, for instance in creel fishing, shellfish diving, seaweed harvesting, wildlife tourism and angling for fish in the sea and for wild salmon and sea trout in the River Add.

We are not against salmon farming on principle, but the proposal to site a salmon or rainbow trout farm at Dounie, containing 2500 tonnes of fish (about one million smolts), would have done a great deal of harm to wild salmon and sea trout, through the impact of parasitic sea lice from the farmed fish, and to seabed animals, through thousands of tonnes of fish faeces and the toxic chemicals used by fish farms to treat diseases and sea lice. Our campaign drew attention to this environmental harm. 

The proposal was withdrawn after a seabed survey, requested by SNH, found a rare community of northern sea fans and sponges. 

This is how the regulation of pollution ought to work, but the industry has an ambitious plan to double its production by 2030 and there is a push to expand fish farming in high current areas, such as the Sound of Jura. This expansion plan is supported by the Scottish Government, on the condition that it does not do irreparable harm to the environment. The Friends of the Sound of Jura believe that siting industrial-scale fish farms close to the shore, in high current areas such as the Sound, will do such harm. These are among the richest places in Scotland for biodiversity and are much used by wild salmon and sea trout. 

This is why we have become involved in the Scottish Parliamentary Inquiry into the environmental impact of salmon farming, with meeting the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and others. 

Rural jobs are good, but not at the expense of damaging the environment on which existing and future sustainable jobs depend. We believe that the Marine Protected Areas are a good basis for building more long-term sustainable jobs in our area.

August 21, 2019

JOINT LETTERS TO FIRST MINISTER AND ECCLR

Friends of the Sound of Jura are signatories to joint letters sent to the First Minister and to the ECCLR regarding illegal dredging in MPAs.  More than 30 other organisations have signed these letters.  

Letter to the First Minister

Letter to the ECCLR

June 03, 2019

SEPA'S NEW FINFISH AQUACULTURE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

A new firm, evidence-based regulatory framework has been introduced for Scotland’s finfish aquaculture sector by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), one of a number of organisations regulating the sector. SEPA claims the framework will further strengthen the protection of the marine environment for the people of Scotland.

May 13, 2019

THE ARGYLL COAST & ISLANDS HOPE SPOT

Friends of the Sound of Jura along with CAOLAS, CROMACH and Save Seil Sound successfully applied to Mission Blue to have the Argyll Coast & Islands designated a HOPE SPOT - the first in Scotland and mainland UK.

October 09, 2019

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT REPORT ON COASTAL TOURISM

Here is a report by the Scottish Government confirming that Coastal Tourism is worth twice as much as fish farming and commercial fisheries combined.

March 23, 2019

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE SALMON - VIDEO

Drawing attention to International Year of the Salmon, this short video is narrated by Sir David Attenborough.  See the yearofthesalmon.org website for fuller information.

November 01, 2018

SKATESPOTTER SUMMARY DATA REPORT

A new tag and release database for skate in the Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura MPA.  This is the latest report.

November 27, 2018

SALMON FARMING INQUIRY REPORT PUBLISHED

The Salmon Farming Inquiry Report by the Scottish Parliamentary Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee has been published today.

BBC News Website

Status quo "not an option"; 65 recommendations for improvement made

December 17, 2018

LETTER TO THE FIRST MINISTER OF SCOTLAND

We, the undersigned, call on the Scottish Government to stop illegal fishing in Marine Protected Areas and to take urgent measures to protect our wider coastal waters to allow marine habitats, fish stocks, fisheries and the livelihoods of our coastal communities to recover and develop.

Sent by the CAOLAS Community Group and signed by Friends of the Sound of Jura and 40 other organisations.

December 04, 2018

Across November and December SEPA will gather feedback to shape the future of how they regulate the finfish aquaculture sector. SEPA want our communities to inform and enrich the decisions they take every day to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment. Community drop in events will give the public the chance to speak with a range of SEPA staff, find out more about the proposals and answer your questions. No booking required.  The local drop in event for our area is to take place in Lochgilphead Community Centre on Tuesday 4 December 2018 from 2.30pm to 7.00pm.  If you plan to attend here are some suggestions for issues to raise with SEPA.  Click here to see our response to SEPA's Finfish Aquaculture Sector Review Consultation. 

November 23, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING - Scottish Parliament Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee - discussion and evidence on salmon farming

Letter from Sea Change Wester Ross to the Scottish Parliament Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee urging them to stand their ground.

September 17, 2018

CORRESPONDENCE WITH CABINET SECRETARY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT - ROSEANNA CUNNINGHAM

Friends of the Sound of Jura is a member of the Coastal Communities Network. The CCN has an Aquaculture sub-group which recently sent these letters to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment.

The Minister had scheduled a meeting with CCN to discuss these concerns on 25th September, but then postponed it to allow Marine Scotland more time to provide answers to the questions in the main letter. They were put to MS at a meeting in Edinburgh in July. Marine Scotland has so far failed to answer many of these questions, after 7 weeks. 

September 18, 2018

FOLLOW UP TO AQUACULTURE MEETING WITH MARINE SCOTLAND - UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

The Head Planner at Argyll and Bute Council asked us to contact Marine Scotland, saying he must recommend that all fish farms are approved until MS tell him that they risk doing significant harm to the wild salmonid population (or risk significant harm to other parts of the environment). The Council has just approved Scotland’s first 3500 tonne fish farm at BDNC Loch Shuna, near two salmon rivers and on a coast used all year by sea trout. This was despite it having only ‘Borderline’ seabed monitoring status in its latest report from SEPA, at its present size of 2500t. Other 3500+ tonne farm proposals are in the planning pipeline or with SEPA.
 

The Coastal Communities Network met Marine Scotland on 25th July. MS promised to answer our questions.They replied after seven weeks, on 14th September but failed to answer many of our questions.

We responded to Marine Scotland on 19 September 2018.  

April 25, 2018

CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON OPEN CAGE FISH FARMS

Here is an important press release issued today by Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland who are calling for an immediate moratorium on any new open cage marine salmon farms in Scotland or any expansion of existing sites.

The call is supported by a wide cross section of 27 environmental NGOs and other bodies including local group Friends of the Sound of Jura which last month gave compelling evidence at the ongoing Scottish Parliament's inquiry into the environmental impacts of salmon farming.

The following organisations also endorse an immediate moratorium:  

 

Angling Trust, Argyll District Salmon Fishery Board, Argyll Fisheries Trust, Atlantic Salmon Trust, Community of Arran Seabed Trust, Fauna & Flora International, Fish Legal, Friends of Loch Etive,  Lochaber District Salmon Fishery Board, Lochaber Fisheries Trust, National Trust for Scotland, Orkney Trout Fishing Association, Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust, Scottish Anglers National Association, Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland, Save Seil Sound, Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation, Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network, Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust, Scottish Salmon Think-Tank, Skye District Salmon Fishery Board, Skye & Lochalsh Environment Forum, Skye & Wester Ross Fisheries Trust, Wester Ross Area Salmon Fishery Board and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. 

SILENT SLAUGHTER: THE SHOOTING OF SCOTLAND'S SEALS

When five dead seals were discovered by tourists on a beach in the Shetlands presented Lizzie Daly travelled up with a team of film makers to document what had been found and to uncover the shocking links between deliberate seal deaths and salmon farms.

August 20, 2018

MECHANICAL HARVESTING OF KELP PROPOSAL

Marine Scotland are currently consulting on a scoping report as part of the pre-application process for an application for one or more 5-year marine licences to harvest wild kelp (Laminaria hyperborea) on the west coast of Scotland.  Marine Biopolymers Ltd propose to extract approx. 30,000 tonnes of kelp per annum.  

MSPs BACK WILD KELP DREDGING BAN

BBC News website, 21 November 2018

Review of Scottish seaweed harvesting rules announced by Government

September 17, 2017

SEAFOOD WATCH REPORT 2018

Highly detailed report by Seafood Watch on Scottish Salmon farmed in Mainland Scotland, Shetland, Western Isles and the Orkney Isles.

May 31, 2018

ARGYLL & BUTE COUNCIL REVIEW POLICY REGARDING PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION

Friends of the Sound of Jura welcome the decision by Argyll & Bute Council to be more open by reviewing their policy on public availability of information. From now on the information contained in screening and scoping requests, as well as opinions received from consultees at the pre-application stage, will be made available publicly via their planning portal.  

April 30, 2018

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR FISH FARMS AND THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

Friends of the Sound of Jura has corresponded with Argyll & Bute Council about the manner in which they assess fish farm applications for planning permission and in particular why they do/do not apply the precautionary principle.

May 01, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING - Scottish Parliament Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee - discussion and evidence on salmon farming

The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee met at Holyrood again on 2 May 2018, this time to hear evidence from salmon farmers. The Committee took evidence from: 

Scott Landsburgh, Former Chief Executive, Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation;


Ben Hadfield, Managing Director, Marine Harvest Scotland;


Craig Anderson, Chief Executive, Scottish Salmon Company;


Grant Cumming, Managing Director, Grieg Seafood Shetland, Grieg Seafood;


Stewart Graham, Group Managing Director, Gael Force Group.

April 24, 2018

SALMON FISHERY STATISTICS - 2017 SEASON

The total reported rod catch (retained and released) of wild salmon and grilse for 2017 is 80% of the previous 5-year average and the fourth lowest on record.

Reported catch of spring salmon has generally declined since records began and, although there is some indication that catch has stabilised in recent years, it remains at a historically low level. Overall catch of salmon and grilse in later months, on the other hand, generally increased up to 2010, after which it fell sharply over the next 4 years before recovering slightly in 2015 and 2016 only to fall again in 2017.

 

Salmon and grilse reported as being of farmed origin represented 1% of the total Scottish catch in 2017. These catches are among the highest reported since records began in 1994. 96% of these catches were reported from the west coast region where they coincided with a reported escape of salmon from a farm in the area.

April 23, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING - Scottish Parliament Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee

Friends of the Sound of Jura sent this written submission to the Committee today.

April 17, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING -Scottish Parliament Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee - discussion and evidence on salmon farming

There was more discussion of fish-farming in the Scottish Parliament on 18 April, this time in the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee. Giving evidence to the Committee were representatives from the following organisations: the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), the Highlands and Islands Council, Crown Estates and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). You can watch the full proceedings via the link below. Here are some notes about some of the discussions:

It is clear that the Crown Estates, the Highland and Islands local authority and SNH all feel there are gaps in the way fish farms are regulated. SEPA suggested that hydrodynamic models will help to identify and control cumulative impacts (SEPA didn't mention that they are not yet using hydrodynamic models for consenting) and that there is scope for the industry to grow if it expands into high current sites. As at our recent meeting with them, SEPA tried to deflect from their biodiversity duty, which should include an obligation to use their powers under the CAR law to limit the biomass of fish in cages in order to reduce the impact of sea lice on wild salmonids. Unfortunately this line of questioning was not pursued further by the committee.

SNH revealed that when they monitor the condition of MPAs (which they said they do on a long time-scale, i.e. not very often) they deliberately select points away from fish farms as they are "not representative" of the MPA, so this monitoring cannot pick up the impacts of fish-farming on protected areas. SNH is clearly under-resourced. SNH also acknowledged that they need to check they are making the right assumptions about the impact of fish farms on the environment, e.g. the long term impacts on things like maerl. But they said they do not feel that there should never be fish-farming in protected areas. They support the sustainable development of aquaculture but have concerns about growth targets set without taking into account environmental capacity. They need that understanding before setting a target.

The Highlands and Islands council's planner said that 30 years into the growth of this industry we still lack information on interactions of sea lice with wild fish. He questioned why there is a moratorium on fish-farming on the north and east coasts of Scotland, saying that he had never had a satisfactory answer to this question. He said the local authorities set a condition that some fish farms must draw up and adopt Environmental Management Plans, including reporting sea lice numbers to the council, for instance, but that this is a very piecemeal approach to a general problem and it could be done better. He said he is sure there are areas of the west coast with too great a loading of fish farms. He said Industry has set a challenge to double production but no-one knows the capacity of Scottish waters to absorb that much, adding: "It is a huge amount of work, it feels that we are 30 years too late. In 2018 we should have the answers. We are nowhere near."

Crown Estates said there needed to be a mechanism for reviewing aquaculture management. Planning permission is given in perpetuity, so are SEPA's licences (although they do sometimes review them), and Crown Estates leases are for 25 years. There is not enough scope for adjusting management with so much inertia.

Asked whether anyone knew what the carrying capacity for fish farms is, SNH replied "we are quite a long way from that".

None of those giving evidence to the Committee could give a "yes" or "no" answer as to whether regulation had enhanced or failed to protect the marine environment. SNH added that containment would resolve most of these issues and they would like to see trials of this.

April 09, 2018

DISCUSSIONS WITH SEPA

Correspondence between Friends of the Sound of Jura and SEPA is ongoing.

In April Friends of the Sound of Jura and CROMACH met Anne Anderson (SEPA’s Head of Compliance and Beyond) and other staff involved with modelling the environmental impacts of fish farms and in the new Aquaculture Sector Plan which will be put out for consultation this summer. We sent follow up questions to Ms Anderson on 20 April 2018 and will also comment on the Sector Plan when it is released.

Read SEPA's assessment of emamectin benzoate (SLICE) in which it recommends a ban on the use of this chemical.

March 25, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING - Letter to ECCLR Committee

Letter from Friends of the Sound of Jura to Graeme Dey (convenor of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee), Claudia Beamish MSP and Mark Ruskell MSP in relation to fish farm expansion beyond 2500 tons.

March 14, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING - Scottish Parliament Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee - discussion and evidence on salmon farming

The Committee took evidence from: 


Jon Gibb, Clerk, Lochaber District Salmon Fishery Board;


Dr Alan Wells, Chief Executive, Fisheries Management Scotland;


Dr Richard Luxmoore, Senior Nature Conservation Adviser at The National Trust for Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Environment LINK;


Guy Linley-Adams, Solicitor, on behalf of Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland.

All the witnesses were excellent and Richard Luxmoore made some excellent points. The committee seemed broadly sympathetic to the view that fish farming is harming wild fish and that much has to change.

March 05, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING - The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has published its Committee report on the environmental impacts of salmon farming - 5 March 2018

We are delighted by today's Environment Committee's Report into the environmental impacts of salmon farming. Last month John Aitchison of Friends of the Sound of Jura gave compelling evidence to the Committee and we are grateful to its MSP members for their decisive conclusions which include:

‘Scotland is at a critical point in considering how salmon farming develops in a sustainable way in relation to the environment. The planned expansion of the industry over the next 10-15 years will place huge pressures on the environment. Industry growth targets of 300,000 - 400,000 tonnes by 2030 do not take into account the capacity of the environment to farm that quantity of salmon. If the current issues are not addressed this expansion will be unsustainable and may cause irrecoverable damage to the environment.’

 

'The Committee is deeply concerned that the development and growth of the sector is taking place without a full understanding of the environmental impacts. The Committee considers an independent assessment of the environmental sustainability of the predicted growth of the sector is necessary.’

 

'There are significant gaps in knowledge, data, monitoring and research around the adverse risk the sector poses to ecosystem functions, their resilience and the supply of ecosystem services.’

'Scotland’s public bodies have a duty to protect biodiversity and this must be to the fore when considering the expansion of the sector.’

 

‘The current consenting and regulatory framework, including the approach to sanctions and enforcement, is inadequate to address the environmental issues. The Committee is not convinced the sector is being regulated sufficiently, or regulated sufficiently effectively. This needs to be addressed urgently because further expansion must be on an environmentally sustainable basis.'​

'There need to be changes to current farming practice. The industry needs to demonstrate it can effectively manage and mitigate its impacts.’

 

‘Scotland needs an ecosystems-based approach to planning the industry’s growth and development…’

 

'As a matter of urgency the Committee wishes to see independent research commissioned, including a full cost-benefit analysis of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)… ‘

‘…further development and expansion must be on the basis of a precautionary approach and must be based on resolving the environmental problems. The status quo is not an option.’

Thank you to all of you who signed the petition and who wrote to the Committee with your concerns.

This report will be sent to the Scottish Parliament's rural economy committee which is conducting a wider inquiry into the sector.

Read article on the BBC website - MSPs warning over salmon farming impact on environment.

‘As a result of the committee’s conclusions about the present inadequacies of the consenting and regulatory framework , the Friends of the Sound of Jura has decided to engage with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, to learn more about how fish farms are consented and regulated.'

February 06, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING - 6 February 2018

The Friends of the Sound of Jura was asked to give evidence as a community group to the Parliamentary Inquiry on the impact of salmon farming on the environment.  The group is keen to emphasise that jobs are precious in coastal communities like ours, and that sustainable jobs depend on the sea being clean. 

 

We do not object to fish farming in principle but to the impacts it is having on the environment and on sustainable jobs, because of the way it is being practised at the moment.

 

The hearing can now be viewed, click here.

Our written submission to the committee can be seen here.

The official transcript of the meeting can be seen here.

Here is a nice article in the Scottish Community Alliance's (SCA) newsletter about the evidence given by the Friends of the Sound of Jura at the recent Scottish Government Inquiry on the environmental impacts of salmon farming.

As SCA says, all of these efforts work to build the involvement and empowerment of communities in local and national politics, and ensure that stakeholder views include those of local groups.

February 01, 2018

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO SALMON FARMING - Our written submission to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament

We made the following submission on the Environmental Impacts of Salmon Farming.

“The SAMS report says that science measures environmental effects, but society must decide whether their impacts are acceptable. In December, five million One Show viewers were shocked to see a convey of trucks carrying away dead, diseased farmed salmon. The effects of such mass mortalities are just one of the environmental impacts laid out in the report; the unnecessary consequences of open-cage salmon farming, as it is being practiced in Scotland. These impacts are harming the industry’s profits, Scotland’s reputation for quality, and the health of our seas. Surely it makes sense to solve these problems before contemplating any expansion, let alone pressing on to double production by 2030?

November 07, 2017

DOUNIE FISH FARM CAMPAIGN - letter from SNH

We thought it would be useful to record here the letter from SNH in response to the application to site a marine cage fish farm at Dounie on the Sound of Jura. The information contained in SNH’s report may well be of interest to others concerned about protecting the marine environment.

November 18, 2017

DOUNIE FISH FARM CAMPAIGN - A welcome recommendation by Scottish Natural Heritage on the Dounie Fish Farm proposal

We have some good news!  Friends of the Sound of Jura have recently learned that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have said that the siting of an industrial size fish farm at Dounie would significantly harm marine features of global importance - a rare community of sponges and other seabed animals called Northern Sea Fans, both of which can be smothered and killed by waste from fish farms.  Northern Sea Fans are protected by the Scottish Government as Priority Marine Features.

The information contained in SNH's report may be of interest to others concerned about protecting the marine environment as Northern Sea Fans may occur, but be unrecorded, at other sites threatened by new fish farms.

December 14, 2017

DOUNIE FISH FARM CAMPAIGN - Dounie saved!

Friends of the Sound of Jura (FoSoJ) learned with relief today that Kames Fish Farming Ltd has decided to withdraw their application for a 12-cage fish farm at Dounie Bay, south of Crinan. Under pressure from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage, they had broadened their original assessment of the farm’s environmental impact, and concluded that that it would damage the important wildlife of this Marine Protected Area. The proposal had attracted much concern from a wide spectrum of the local community, many of whom rely on the Sound of Jura to support environmentally sustainable local businesses.

Mark Smith, speaking on behalf of FoSoJ said “We have always maintained that this industrial-sized fish farm should have no place within a Marine Protected Area. The wildlife of the Sound includes the rare flapper skate, porpoises and otters, as well as smaller rarities like the northern sea fan. They have been spared being smothered in thousands of tonnes of fish faeces laced with pesticides every year. The wild salmon and sea trout which migrate to the River Add have been spared the catastrophic burden of sea lice associated with fish farms. We will continue to promote the Sound of Jura as an important resource for use by the local community, anglers, creel fishermen, scallop-divers, sailors, tourists and all of us who value and depend on the good health of the marine environment.”

DOUNIE FISH FARM CAMPAIGN - Correspondence with Kames Fish Farming Ltd

We have corresponded with Kames Fish Farming Ltd in relation to their application to site a fish farm at Dounie Bay.

December 18, 2017

DOUNIE FISH FARM CAMPAIGN - Letter sent to Kames Fish Farming Ltd following the withdrawal of their application at Dounie

This letter was sent to Mr Stuart Cannon, Managing Director of Kames Fish Farming Limited following the withdrawal of their application to site a fish farm at Dounie bay, south of Crinan, in the Sound of Jura.

FISH FARM NEWS - Fish farms and seals

We note that there is concern about the number of seal deaths related to the fish farm industry, as reported in an article in the Sunday Times. Don Staniford, Director, Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA), reports:

Last year just under 100 seals were killed, down 10% on the previous year and significantly less than in 2011 when 450 were shot.  Scott Landsburgh of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, acknowledged that protecting fish farms from seals remained "a pressing issue" but praised the progress being made.  He defender firms that only used their licence to kill after exhausting other options.  Landsburgh dismissed the view that anti-predator nets were a "panacea".  He said it failed the grasp the "complexity" of managing farms.  Other humane alternatives include acoustic deterrents - emitting sound that seals dislike.  The Scottish Government said it was confident the figures on seal deaths were accurate.  It is in discussion with the US authorities, via the EU and UK government.

Friends of the Sound of Jura agree with the concerns expressed.

The industry wants to expand its sales in America but the US will not allow the import of seafood if its production involves killing marine mammals.  The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recently set a four-year deadline for all nations exporting seafood to the US, to prove that no marine mammals are harmed in the production of that seafood. Countries which cannot do so by then will face a ban.

In the article the SSPO tout acoustic seal scarers but these are not the answer as they also exclude porpoises, dolphins and other cetaceans from enormous volumes of sea. It is illegal to disturb porpoises but the company wanting to site a new fish farm at Dounie proposes to use these devices there, even though it is inside a Special Area for Conservation set aside especially for porpoises. They also want a licence to shoot seals.

How does the Scottish Government know (as its spokesperson states in the article) that the number of seals shot is accurate, when it relies entirely on the salmon farmers to report how many they have shot?

FISH FARM NEWS - Sustainable local fisheries

Sea Change Wester Ross have written an imformative and challenging open letter to Roseanna Cunningham where they share their concerns and response to SEPA’s Consultation on the ‘Regulation of Marine Cage Fish Farms: Updating the approach to protecting the sea bed’.

They say ‘Sea Change Wester Ross has voted as a group to oppose new or expanded fish farms in Wester Ross Marine Protected Area if the evidence suggests this would harm the marine environment.’

November 25, 2017

FLAPPER SKATE - Flapper Skate in our local Marine Protected Area

On Saturday 25th November, Friends of the Sound of Jura hosted a talk by Dr James Thorburn from the University of St Andrews about his work on Flapper Skate in our local Marine Protected Area (MPA). The event, in Tayvallich Village Hall, was attended by more than 60 people, who were interested to find out more about the incredible marine life on their doorstep.

FLAPPER SKATE - Flapper skate footage

Wonderful footage of flapper skate.

September 21, 2017

FISH FARM NEWS - Scotland's "liciest" fish farms

The Scottish Information Commissioner has this week published a formal Decision that Scottish Ministers unlawfully tried to withhold information naming fish farms that had breached Scottish Government trigger levels for the numbers of adult female sea lice on farmed salmon.

October 09, 2017

FISH FARM NEWS - thousands of salmon on Lewis killed by infection

On 10th October 2017, the BBC had the following coverage:

Lorry loads of dead fish are being collected from a sea loch on the Isle of Lewis after suffering a bacterial infection, the BBC understands.  Salmon farmers Marine Harvest said the infection affecting fish at Loch Eireasort was “completely harmless” to humans. Locals have raised concerns about the smell of rotting fish at the shore.’

FISH FARM NEWS - a disgrace: 10 million salmon thrown away by fish farm industry last year

On Sunday 8th October 2017, the Sunday Herald reported :

‘The Scottish fish farming industry has admitted that it threw away up to ten million salmon last year – nearly a quarter of its stock – because of diseases, parasites and other problems.

Official figures reveal the tonnages of dead fish that had to be disposed of has more than doubled from 10,599 in 2013 to a record high of 22,479 in 2016. Most are transported south to be burnt at an incinerator in Widnes near Warrington in northwest England.’

September 19, 2017

FISH FARM NEWS - over 300,000 salmon escaped from fish farms in 2016

Interesting article from the BBC: 

‘More than 300,000 salmon escaped from Scottish fish farms during last year, according to the annual official survey of aquaculture firms.

The Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2016 showed a 5.2% drop in total weight of salmon harvested, to 162,800 tonnes.

The year before, production fell 4.7%.

Much of this was due to infestations of sea lice, which force fish farm firms to bring forward harvest to a point before the fish have fully grown.

That meant the average weight of a harvested Scottish farmed salmon fell from 5.2kg in 2015 to 4.7kg last year.’

FISH FARM NEWS - Environmental Impacts of Intensive Fish Farming

A very information blog on the above from An Taisce (National Trust for Ireland).

 

They say:

‘An Taisce supports the sustainable development of aquaculture, in keeping with other objectives for the relevant area. That is, aquaculture projects should be developed in a balanced manner which does not cause degradation in the area of the aquaculture facility, for example through habitat destruction, by way of habitat alteration, or by degrading water quality. In essence, any aquaculture development must ensure that local habitats, flora, fauna, and avifauna are not adversely impacted.

March 01, 2016

STUDY PAPER ON CARBON FOOTPRINT AND ECONOMICS OF OPEN NET VERSUS CLOSED CONTAINMENT FARMING OF SALMON

Comparative economic performance and carbon footprint of two farming models for producing Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar): Land-based closed containment system in freshwater and open net pen in seawater.

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The Sound of Jura is home to some of the most fascinating and diverse marine life in Scotland.  We seek to protect the Sound, the River Add and their local users from threats to the area’s wildlife and local sustainable economy.