Fish Farm License Appeal Upheld
EU Fish News, 25 Feb 2015
THE Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) has lost an appeal to have a 10-year time limit removed from one of its sites in Loch Torrridon, due to concerns expressed over its potential impact on native fish populations.
While permission to farm sites in Scotland is usually awarded indefinitely, in March 2012 Highland Council granted planning permission to SSC to install a site at Sgeir Dughall for only a period of ten years in order to “allow alternatives to controlling sea lice to be provided within that time in recognition of the ongoing concerns with regard to the impacts on wild fisheries, whilst allowing the operator time to find alternative culture techniques for the site, for example, closed containment”.
The company appealed against this condition on several counts, arguing that “the site has now been operating for 18 months and it can now be demonstrated that the concerns, raised both by individual objectors and the Wester Ross Area Salmon Fishery Board, have not been realised.”
However, wild fish interests observed that this statement is at odds with the figures published by the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, which demonstrated that sea lice numbers reached the very high level of an average 12 adult female lice per farmed fish in Loch Torridon in September 2013.
The Scottish Government Reporter dismissed the appeal, stating that the “imposition of a time limit on the duration of this permission cannot be regarded as unreasonable”. See http://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?id=115376&T=20