Media coverage Sept 2018
Oban Times letters page 28 Sept 2018
Undercurrent News website, 24 Sept 2018
The Scotsman website, 23 Sept 2018
Fish Farming Expert, 19 Sept 2018
The Guardian website, 19 Sept 2018
Oban Times, 18 Sept 2018
More than 1400 oppose fish farm off Jura's west coast
Islanders on Jura are hitting back at plans for the first fish farm on its remote west coast.
Kilmelford-based Kames Fish Farming Ltd, in a pre-planning application to Argyll and Bute Council, is ‘scoping opinion’ for a 14-pen fin fish farm near Corpach Bay.
An online petition to stop the development, started by residents Louise Muir and deer stalker Craig Rozga, had collected 400 signatures in the first 24 hours, and more than 1,400 by Tuesday this week.
Mrs Muir, who has a background in environmental conservation, said: ‘There are important principles at stake. It is a place precious to many who come to seek solitude and appreciate the remote and beautiful landscape.
‘It is impossible to mitigate the visual impact. Its presence alone would remove the wilderness and scenic qualities valued by many.’
The area is designated ‘Wild Land’ and ‘Area of Panoramic Quality’ and lies within the Inner Hebrides and The Minches Special Area of Conservation (SAC), she said, and is ‘rich in rare wildlife’, such as harbour porpoises, dolphins, and minke, killer and sei whales.
‘The plan shows acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) would be used to deter seals. Cetaceans can be displaced by ADDs at ranges of 7km. The cumulative impact will be devastating to these species.
‘Impacts from lice, disease, pesticides and waste, to not only wild fish, but other marine life is unacceptable. The estates on Islay and Jura work hard to conserve and enhance their local native populations.
‘The proposal is flawed: there has been no consideration to the exposed nature of the site and the high potential for escaped stock and mooring instability of the cages.
‘There has been no hydrodynamic modelling, no benthic (seabed) biology survey submitted, maximum stocking biomass has been increased to levels for which further investigations are needed and fallow periods are unsustainably short. Impacts to other wildlife have not been considered.
‘A promise of six jobs, while sacrificing a rare wild landscape and unspoiled marine habitats, is not appropriate or sustainable economic development.’
Stuart Cannon, managing director of Kames Fish Farming Limited, said it is ‘an environmentally responsible company which has produced high quality, sustainable fish for more than 45 years’.
He added: ‘We are very much aware there is a balance to be struck, and would not want to place a site where there would be 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.’
Scotsman, 17 Sept 2018
Scotsman, 17 Sept 2018
Argyllshire Advertiser 14 Sept 2018
Letter to Argyllshire Advertiser 14 Sept 2018
BBC News website, 12 September 2018
Oban Times, 6 September 2018
First fish farm planned for Jura's wild west coast
Plans have been submitted to Argyll and Bute Council to build the first fish farm off the Isle of Jura’s wild and uninhabited west coast.
Kilmelford-based Kames Fish Farming Ltd, in a pre-planning application, is ‘screening and scoping opinion’ for a 14-pen fin fish farm north of Corpach Bay, 15km south west of the Gulf of Corryvreckan.
Last December Kames withdrew its controversial plan to site the first fish farm in the Sound of Jura, opposed by a 3,000 signature petition, and has been scoping potential sites within reach of their shore bases in Loch Craignish and Loch Melfort, and has now selected ‘Jura West’.
Kames’ report states: ‘To date no clearly alternative location that is also compatible with technical constraints has been identified.’
The salmon and sea trout farm would likely consist of two rows of 14 38m diameter circular pens, in a 70m square grid per pen, with a 43.4m by 15m and 10m high feed barge, 100-120m off shore.
‘The remote and exposed location of the site means that a large feed barge is required for feed storage and for staff accommodation,’ the report went on to say.
The feed barge will have a generator, though noise would be ‘effectively baffled’, and navigational and utility lights for night or winter working.
The report continued: ‘The site would be managed from the Argyll mainland with no new shore-based infrastructure. There is no contemporary development on the coast, the land being extensive deer forest. The area is valued for its wildness, remoteness and tranquillity.
‘There is no night time illumination on Jura, the island appearing as a dark mass. There is no habitation on Jura visible from the sea and no apparent influence of human occupation or infrastructure, creating an impression of remoteness.
‘In places the proposed development will be prominent and seen at close proximity,’ and ‘partly visible’ 500m south at ‘rarely visited’ Corpach Bay, ‘evidently used by wild campers and picnics’.
‘Those walkers who do come here will be here for the scenic quality, tranquillity, sense of remoteness and wildness, as well as the panoramic views.
‘Despite its perceived remoteness, along the coast there are areas of scattered debris on the strand line and amongst the rocky inlets.
‘Respondents will be relatively few in number, but highly sensitive to the proposed development.’
Salmon Business website 5 Sept 2018
BBC website, 4 Sept 2018
The Ferret, 3 Sept 2018
Salmon & Trout Conservation, Sept 2018
The hot dry summer seems to have been ideal for sea lice, with devastating consequences for wild salmon, even the adults, which are usually not as badly hit as smolts. There seem to have been mass die-offs of farmed fish too.