Kames plans farm west of Jura


PLANS have been submitted to Argyll and Bute Council to build the first fish farm off the Isle of Jura’s uninhabited west coast, the Oban Times reported.
Kames Fish Farming, which withdrew an application late last year to site a farm in the Sound of Jura, is ‘screening and scoping opinion’ for a 14-pen fin fish farm north of Corpach Bay, 15km south west of the Gulf of Corryvreckan.
The Kilmelford based company, in a pre-planning application, said it has been scoping potential sites within reach of its shore bases in Loch Craignish and Loch Melfort.
Kames’ report states: ‘To date, no clearly alternative location, that is also compatible with technical constraints, has been identified.’
The previous application, opposed by a 3,000-signature petition collected by the Friends of the Sound of Jura, was for a trout farm at Dounie.
The new plan proposes two rows of 14 x 38m diameter circular pens, in a 70m square grid per pen, with a 43.4m by 15m and 10m high feed barge, 100-120m offshore.
‘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.’
Kames Fish Farming is a family business and local employer that has been operating in Loch Melfort for 45 years. The company’s managing director, Stuart Cannon, who has been involved in fish farming for 50 years, won the People’s Choice award at the Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards in May.
He said, in a letter to Sepa (Scottish Environment Protection Agency), during the Dounie application that Kames ‘considers all aspects of possible impact when seeking new sites’.
‘If there is sound scientific evidence that suggests there would be significant or irreparable damage to the environment, it would, at that point, consider withdrawing the application.’
The company said then that it would continue to seek to expand production to meet growing demand for its rainbow trout, and employ local staff.


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