(Update : Ardmeanach site turned down! There may be public hearing 5th November, Dervaig, Isle of Mull re Gometra site. Please see www.salmonfactory.com for information.)
(Second Update : Argyll and Bute Council rubber stamped the proposal on 5th November 2012. We will continue to fight until it is taken away.)
(Third update : Loch Scridain site turned down again on appeal, Ardmaddy site approved by Argyll and Bute Dept Planning, hell bent on the destruction of our seas, despite over 800 objections, and only one local letter of support).
The wild land and clean seas of the Staffa Archipelago, within the Loch Na Keal National Scenic Area, are threaded with dolphin, porpoise, seal, salmon, shark and whale, are treasured by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and contribute to the livelihood of thousands nationally.
Argyll and Bute Council is now considering a plan to privatise 40 ha (100 acres) of the waters of the Archipelago for a salmon factory farm site off the Island of Gometra, obstructing our access to Mull and venting hundreds of tonnes of untreated fecal wastes into Loch Tuath. Seal killing licences will be applied for and research suggests that seal scarers will create a massive exclusion zone for cetaceans (e.g. a 60 km2 disk for porpoises), inside which sightings will cease and outside which sightings will decrease. A second factory farm is proposed for Ardmeanach on Loch Scridain, on the way to Iona. The developers are a subsidiary of a Jersey Company listed in Oslo. It is not known on Gometra who ultimately owns or controls them.
The small Gometra community is 100% against. Salmon farming is struggling with sea lice, disease, seal predation, escapes and a scary collapse in the price of its product. It would be a staggering failure of vision to position the Isle of Mull as a factory farming destination by committing the Staffa Archipelago to industrial aquaculture, and so choke the flow of green gold from eco-tourism which underpins our economy. [Update : the developers have reduced the site footprint to 30ha, with a 4 ha cage array.]
We the undersigned deplore proposals for a salmon farm off the Island of Gometra in the Staffa Archipelago, within the Loch Na Keal National Scenic Area. It would be a staggering failure of vision to position the Isle of Mull as a factory farming destination by committing the Staffa Archipelago to industrial aquaculture, and so choke the flow of green gold from ecotourism which underpins our economy. We urge you to withhold consent for this devastating proposal.
[Update : Now you have rubber stamped this proposal, we will continue to fight until it is taken away.]
Thank you for your attention,