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26 June 2020

Amended Wildlife Bill

Thank you so much to those who wrote to their MSPs ahead of last week’s vote on the amended Wildlife Bill.

 

The excellent news is that seal shooting by fish farms will cease, primarily in order to comply with US marine mammal legislation, so farmed Scottish salmon can continue to be exported to America. 

 
Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) have not been banned but their use by fish farms now has to be reported to the Scottish Parliament, which is a small step in the right direction. Marine Scotland are required to report to Parliament by March 2021 on “future plans for the regulation of the use of acoustic deterrent devices” by the fish farming industry.

 

Strengthening penalties for illegal fishing in MPAs did not pass.

26 June 2020

Read these reports from Feedbackglobal.org

Read Feedback's http://feedbackglobal.org/  two Reports which explore in depth the sustainability and nutritional implications of using wild fish to feed the growing Scottish farmed salmon industry. You can sign up here to attend their webinar on 16th July exploring this research in more detail.

16 June 2020

Important opportunity: help tighten the law on use of Acoustic Deterrent Devices which can harm cetaceans. 

We’re urging our supporters to write to their MSPs asking them to vote in favour of some important amendments to the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Bill, which will be debated at Holyrood this Wednesday 17th June.  

 

The purpose of these amendments is to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises from disturbance and harm by the extremely loud Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) fitted to many fish farms to deter seals from biting the fish.

 

The amendments to tighten the laws on ADD use have been put forward by two MSPS, Claudia Beamish and Mark Ruskell, well known to FoSoJ for their dedication to reform fish farming in Scotland.

 

All cetaceans are legally protected from any deliberate or reckless disturbance and SNH have confirmed to the Government that ADDs can cause disturbance.  

 

Here is a link to a sample letter you might wish to send to your MSP.  Also attached is the letter from SNH to Ministers stating that ADDs can disturb cetaceans.

 

You can find out who your MSPs are from this website: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/msp/

 

Read more about the Bill here:

https://beta.parliament.scot/bills/animals-and--wildlife-penalties-protections-and-powers-scotland-bill

 

If you have not already signed this petition please add your name to the 25,000 signatories.  It is calling for an enforcement of existing laws protecting porpoise, dolphins and whales and to ban all ADDs by January 2020.

 

https://www.change.org/p/roseanna-cunninham-scottish-government-cabinet-secretary-for-the-environment-save-dolphins-porpoises-and-seals-from-scottish-salmon-farms

CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE LETTER

CLICK HERE FOR LETTER FROM SNH TO MINISTERS STATING THAT ADDs CAN DISTURB CETACEANS

 

 

13 February 2020

Ocean Acidification Survey

We are so grateful to all of you who completed the recent Ocean Acidification Survey which has raised £1000 for Friends of the Sound of Jura.

 

Here is a message from local resident Iain Croucher thanking you for taking part in his Ocean Acidification Survey.  We are very grateful to him for his generosity and wish him well with completing his Masters degree in Climate Change.

 

'Thank you for taking part in the survey into the issue of ocean acidification.  To make credible conclusions, I needed more than 200 reponses… 300 would be great.  Thanks to you help, I received 321!  This is a great result that will help me, enormously, and - of course - will help the Friends of Sound of Jura.  (I will make the promised donation, as soon as possible!).

 

The intention was to find out how much people understood about the concept of ocean acidification and, in particular, in relation to the wider understand of the causes and consequences of climate change.  To do this, I wanted to target people with an obvious concern for the environment AND lived close to the coastline.

 

I am now going to spend time analysing the responses; this will form part of my MSc into Climate Change.  I will happily share the results of my analysis, in due course.  However, some early observations:

 

  1. People are very knowledgeable about climate change - 97% know about this; with two-thirds of people claiming to know a lot or quite a bit about this.  

  2. People were less knowledge about ocean acidification - with 12% admitting they know nothing about it and 23% being aware of it, but not knowing much about it.  

  3. Of the causes and consequences of climate change, people seemed to be very switched on…. 

  4. People were less certain about ocean acidification, but on balance people were pretty aware of the causes and consequences.  There are many threats to our oceans and coastal areas from the impact of man - pollution, land discharges, etc… but the big driver for the damaging consequences of increasing ocean acidification is the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere (a consequence of carbon emissions).  

 

I would like to thank everybody for the spirit in which the survey was completed.  I liked the honesty and candidness of people who often admitted to not understanding causes, and consequences.

 

Finally, to help me understand and interpret some of the data, I would like to have a conversation with seven or eight people who participated in the survey.  This would be in the  form of a phone call and would be around 10-15 minutes.  If you would be prepared to do this, please drop me an e-mail (Iain.coucher@btinternet.com).

 

Kind regards

 

Iain Coucher

20 January 2020

A call to help halt fish farm expansion in the Greater Clyde!

Since 2018 there are new permissions or applications in the pipeline to farm an additional 76,000 tonnes of farmed salmon, with much more to come. Several of these proposals are in the Greater Clyde (see attached map) where they will add immense additional pressure to an area that already has a great many pressures on it. 

 

Uniquely, this has been acknowledged by groups as diverse as SNH, which has called for the applicants to prove that the sea lice from this farm and other new and expanded farms will not harm the precious wild salmon that breed in the Endrick Waters, upstream from Loch Lomond, and the Clyde Fishermen’s Association, which has said for the first time that the Greater Clyde already has more than enough fish farms in it.

 

It is irresponsible to expand the industry in such a hurry because neither the companies nor the Scottish Government has first assessed whether the west coast’s seas can cope with so many more sea lice and so much more chemical and fish-sewage pollution, all of which are dumped into the sea from the farms’ open nets for free waste disposal.

 

There are viable ways to farm using closed containment methods rather than open nets. These should have been considered as alternatives, but they have not been.

 

By chasing such rapid expansion, using the cheapest and dirtiest way to farm, the industry is doing great harm to Scotland’s environment, to the reputation of our country as an environmentally responsible nation, and as a producer of world-class food and drink. ‘Brand Scotland’ is a valuable commodity overseas but it is being spoiled by the fish farmers’ irresponsible behaviour in establishing massive new or expanded farms in the Clyde, such as Ardyne, North Arran, North Kilbrannan Sound, Carradale, and others.

 

The closing date for comments on the Ardyne expansion is 5th February. The reference number is 19/02539/MFF and you can submit your objection here 

 

More information about fish farm applications and expansion in the Clyde can be found here:

 

https://buteifulcoasts.com/

https://www.arrancoast.com/north-arran-salmon-farm-campaign/

https://www.arrancoast.com/sign-the-salmon-farm-petition-to-north-ayrshire-council/

18 November 2019

Friends of the Sound of Jura is now a registered charity

We are very pleased to announce that Friends of the Sound of Jura is now an SCIO, which is a Scottish registered charity. When we formed in January 2017 we soon realised how rare it is for the opinions of coastal people to be heard or given due weight when it comes to issues affecting the area's wildlife and local sustainable economy.  Since those early days of campaigning against the inappropriate fish farm proposal at Dounie we have aimed to inform and help our local community to express its opinions and to campaign more widely for marine conservation and the sustainable use of the sea we all share.  As a Scottish registered charity we have more weight to carry out our objectives.

November 2019

Kelp Farming Proposal in Argyll and Bute

In November Local Authority Argyll and Bute published a feasibility study for A&B becoming a national hub for farming seaweed. The Sound of Jura is identified as having suitable areas. Seaweed farming is less damaging than mechanical harvesting of wild kelp so we will look closely at the proposals and report back to FoSoJ’s supporters as soon as possible. 

https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/sites/default/files/seaweed_farming_feasibility_study_for_argyll_and_bute_report_1012019.pdf

19 May 2019

New MPA -A fragile flame shell reef which was severely damaged by scallop dredging on Scotland's north west coast has been granted permanent protection.

14 MAY 2019

Launch of the new Mission Blue Hope Spot

Supporters of Friends of the Sound of Jura attended a very special event in Ardfern on the evening of 14 May, to celebrate with CROMACH the launch in our area of a Mission Blue Hope Spot - an important marine conservation initiative - the first of its kind in Britain - find out more.

APRIL 2019

Our MPA is one of six others to benefit from a EU funded Marine Protected Area Management and Monitoring project.  

 

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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.