Campaigners vow to fight Loch Linnhe salmon farm

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Loch Long Salmon’s application to build an 8,000 tonne closed containment salmon farm on Loch Linnhe, on Scotland’s west coast, is being opposed by a group arguing that the development will have an unacceptable environmental impact.

The company submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PoAN) notice to Argyll & Bute Council this week and will be consulting with the local community.

Loch Long Salmon says that its proposed farm, in which the fish would be protected from sea lice and predators by an impermeable membrane, would be able to capture “almost all” of the fish waste, for reuse as fuel or fertiliser.

Campaign group Long Live Loch Linnhe said, however, that the proposed design would permit all of the fish urine to enter the loch and around 15% of the solid waste.

The group said in a statement: “Loch Long Salmon is attempting to greenwash away the real damage that their proposed mega-farm will have on Loch Linnhe, its wildlife and the people who depend on it.

“The farm will be massive, the largest in Scotland, with the biomass of 11,000 cows or 25 times the population of local town, Fort William… using unproven technology, the company has presented no evidence to show that this energy-intensive mega-farm will be either sustainable or carbon neutral.

“Accompanied by an onshore industrial estate with massive lorries operating day and night, the company will employ perhaps a handful of people while risking hundreds of jobs supported by local tourism and outdoor activities. No wonder huge numbers of locals are joining the campaign to prevent this catastrophic development.”

A spokeswoman for the group said it is entirely composed of local residents and businesses from around Loch Linnhe. She added: “We’ll carry out a rigorous review of the application, contact MSPs and Councillors to oppose it, and issue a petition to local residents and business owners. We’ll take the campaign as far as we need to.”

Meanwhile, Loch Long Salmon is moving forward with its appeal against the decision by the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park board, which rejected the company’s original planning application for a salmon farm at Beinn Reithe, on Loch Long.

A hearing and inquiry is due to be held at Three Villages Hall, Arrochar, starting from 25 September, overseen by David Liddell, a Reporter with the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division. The deadline for the submission of hearing statements is 1 September.

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