SCOTTISH Salmon Company withdraws plans04 August, 2011 –
THE SCOTTISH Salmon Company has withdrawn plans for a fish farm at both of its proposed sites off the east coast of Islay following huge community opposition.
The company had indicated it would prefer a site in Claggain Bay and following a presentation to the community asked Islay Community Council to gauge public opinion.
The response was a resounding no, driven by community group Iasg, which consists of representatives from the sea fishing industry on Islay, sporting providers, local anglers and businesses.
Iasgs campaign against the proposal resulted in islanders returning objections by way of 33 letters, a petition of 741 names, as well as an online petition amassing 1,767 signatures. Not a single representation was made in favour of fish farms.
Last week Scottish Salmon Company told The Oban Times that Ileachs had been misled by inaccurate and outdated information.
However, last Friday it issued a statement saying analysis of current data and modelling at the sites, had suggested neither were suitable for development.
Iasg member Willy Inglis said: Whilst Iasg obviously welcomes the news that the Scottish Salmon Company is not going to proceed with fish farms off the east coast of Islay, it is important to see this as part of a wider debate.
The Islay community includes sea fishing, sporting and tourist industries which will all be affected by fish farm developments. Other communities may not have such a dependency on these industries and may benefit from the additional employment that fish farming brings.
However, as Iasg has been keen to point out, it is the long-term damage to the environment that we must all be concerned about.
Scottish Salmon Company said: Two potential site locations were identified on Islay and community consultation was initiated to discuss these sites. However following our continued analysis of current data and modelling, one of the possible sites was demonstrated not to be ideally suited for development.
Following further review with the Northern Lighthouse Board, the other potential location proved to be inappropriate.
While the initial positions in Islay are not suitable for development, we will continue to review other environmentally favourable site locations. We will continue to welcome consultation with local communities while investigating these other potential sites in Islay, which would bring a boost to the local communities in which the sites are situated.
The company also stressed the salmon farming industry was environmentally sustainable and that it secured economic development.