Farm plan opposed by Jura deer stalker

PLANS by Kames Fish Farming to build the first fish farm off the Isle of Jura’s uninhabited west coast are being opposed by campaigners.
Kames submitted its proposals to Argyll and Bute Council earlier this month, after withdrawing an application late last year to site a farm in the Sound of Jura.
The company is ‘screening and scoping opinion’ for a 14-pen fin fish farm north of Corpach Bay, 15km south west of the Gulf of Corryvreckan, with the prospect of six jobs.
However, Jura residents Craig Rozga, a deer stalker, and Louise Muir, an RSPB warden with a background in environmental conservation, have collected a petition against the move, the Oban Times reported.
They are said to be concerned about the impact of a fish farm on wildlife on Jura.
Kames’ 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 Kilmelford based company 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, told the Oban Times: ‘We are very much aware there is a balance to be struck, and would not want to place a site where there would be a risk to the amazing biodiversity we have on the west coast.
‘We have withdrawn applications in the past where the scientific assessment of the site has suggested the site is not suitable.
‘We require new sites to meet the growing demand for our product and want to place these sites in areas deemed suitable by the application process.’
Rozga is head stalker on Ruantallain Estate, Jura, which is described on its website as a ‘spectacular sporting estate of 20,000 acres’ which offers ‘excellent stalking’ for stags and wild goats and ‘superb wild brown trout fishing and sea trout fishing’.
Picture: Stalking on Ruantallain Estate, Jura (photo: Ruantaillain Estate)