Letters to the Editor

Saga of the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) consultation exercise? Tuesday 2nd April 2019.
Venue Lochranza village hall.

Readers will know of my connection with the Arran Community Council, COAST and Lamlash Golf Club.
I travelled to the advertised consultation as an individual and resident of the Island (born and bred).
The SSC have achieved their aim of holding a public consultation to tick boxes for their planning application of the proposed new salmon mega-farm located near the Fallen Rocks, between Lochranza and Sannox.

Their claims of economic benefit, employment, records of environment success, really have to be taken with a large slice of caution. The present fish farm in Lamlash was begun locally, purchased by Marine Harvest then Lighthouse Caledonia and now known as Scottish Salmon Company. Their history of promises, regarding employment, fish welfare, protection of wild salmon and environmental health and safety does not stand up to examination.

An independent visitor to one of the Western Isle fish farms run by the SSC recorded and photographed an extremely large number of salmon affected by sea lice. Yet within a few days later a government inspector reported that the same fish farm had acceptable numbers of mortality, with salmon showing effects of lice and reported that they only saw “100 fish with observable sea lice damage [in the worst affected cage]”.

As a matter of interest according to freedom of information the Lamlash fish farm in 2018 had a biomass of 3,909 tonnes. The mortality figure was 44.138 tonnes.
Including the two Carradale sites the mortality rate for the three fish farms was 392.78 tonnes.

The consultation video and documentation, which had almost 20 of the SSC employees attending, did not express the well-known majority view of the community. They refused to answer public questions or make any public statement. One of the documents I read was misleading as based on my personal knowledge only one of the facts they claimed, to support their proposal, was accurate.

An exit poll was taken by a COAST volunteer, as a guideline the overwhelming view of the people who attended the consultation was against the proposed fish farm.

From the sheet, which I signed, the result was 89% against the proposal with 10% ticking the undecided box and 1% for the farm.

So when the planning application for the fish farm is registered with NAC if the Island residents and tourists are still against the proposal it is most important that you write and register your objection on environmental grounds and the impact on the island Tourism.

Jim Henderson

Eilean Leodhais,
Isle of Arran.



A letter from the Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland on the Isle of Skye –

With the Scottish Salmon Company’s reckless plans to expand operations in Inner Loch Carron and Outer Loch Torridon (WHFP 19/5/19), as a contribution to its highly questionable “ambitious strategy for responsible, sustainable growth”, it would seem timely to pose a few (im)pertinent questions.

If I were simply to tell you the facts about salmon farming’s harmful impacts on the marine environment, wild salmon, third-world coastal communities, farmed fish wellbeing and the doubtful food safety of farmed salmon, would you stop eating farmed salmon?

Maybe not, but I’ll tell you anyway:
1. Marine pollution: 1,000 tonnes annually of untreated, pesticide-laced fish excrement per standard net-cage fish farm (before expansion); 2. Excess pesticides killing untargeted marine organisms while targeted pests and diseases thrive; 3. Population declines of wild wrasse and lumpfish, trapped for the less-than-effective ‘eco-friendly biological control’ of sea lice, and consequent ecosystem disruption; 4. Over 8 million infested, ulcerated, deformed, mortally sick and dead salmon thrown away in 2017, such mortalities continuing; 5. Convoys of trucks loaded with stinking, rotting salmon carcases travelling from all along the mainland coast and islands of Western Scotland to rendering plants in the south. 6. Wild salmon and sea trout on the brink of extinction due to fish farm-generated epidemics of flesh-grazing sea lice and mortal diseases; 7. Wild sea fish and human population declines in third world countries where salmon feed is manufactured. 8. Analysis showing farmed salmon to be the most potentially toxic food in the supermarket.

Now, Britain’s most respected naturalist Sir David Attenborough has acknowledged the environmental harm caused by salmon farming (The Mail on Sunday, 31/03/19). If he were to tell you even some of the same unpleasant facts about salmon farming would you stop eating farmed salmon, or stop anyway, now you have some information?

If you still need persuading, a recent Scottish Government inquiry and subsequent debate pretty well vindicated the arguments (above, albeit abbreviated) we objectors have been positing for years.
We should all show our dissatisfaction with the eco-destructive, cruel, battery-farming of salmon by overt abstention in supermarkets and restaurants, making our refusal obvious and explaining why.

Yours faithfully,

Roger Cottis

Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland
Tawny Croft
Isle of Skye
IV43 8QS.