Press release 13 December 2017

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Local campaign group welcomes Sound of Jura fish farm application withdrawal 

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, otters and seals, 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.”

Two petitions organised by FoSoJ have been signed by more than 3400 people in total, the vast majority from the west of Scotland, more than 1200 of them from Argyll and Bute. SEPA have said they received 86 letters opposing the granting of a CAR (pollution) licence and apparently none in favour.

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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.