Save Staffa Archipelago
Stop Fingal's Cage
Stop press : listen to this - it would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic!
And watch this if you can - chilling & brilliant, it parallels what is being done to Scotland.
Scottish salmon farming means ...
When the last wild fish is infected, the last seal shot, the last loch poisoned and the last dolphin displaced, you will discover that you cannot eat factory farmed salmon.
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Why Gometra in the Staffa Archipelago is NOT the place
The wild land and clean seas of the Staffa Archipelago, in Scotland’s iconic Loch Na Keal National Scenic Area, are threaded with dolphin, porpoise, seal, salmon, shark, otter and whale; are treasured by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide; and contribute to the livelihood of thousands nationally. Fingal’s Cave on Staffa, Iona with its Abbey, and the Treshnish Isles comprise world-class cultural, historical, biodiversity and wildness values which have been canvassed as candidate Unesco World Heritage sites, a status we believe Iona will shortly achieve.
The Scottish Salmon Company (a Jersey company listed in Oslo which will not disclose who ultimately owns or controls it) proposes 5.6 Wembley Stadium football pitches of cage array containing 2 kilo-tonnes of factory farmed salmon on 42 football pitches of privatised seabed together with a similar site at Ardmeanach on Mull. Gometra, ‘a peopled wildness’, is one of the few inhabited Hebridean islands which is not yet ringed with swelling cages and our small island community is 100% against. We have no electricity in homes and no cars on the island, which has no reasonable access to a doctor or teacher. This proposal would de-wild the most beautiful place in the world, blocking our coast-hugging foul-weather route to the Isle of Mull’s doctors and offshore services and schools. We are not alone – neighbouring Iona and Mull Community Councils have both objected [update - Mull Community Council have performed a weird U-turn]. Small communities throughout the Hebrides, on Eigg (98% opposed), Islay, Lewis, Seil, Colonsay, Harris, Rum, Mull and Arran, have been fighting their own proposed salmon farms.
If there is one place in Scotland not to site a factory salmon farm, this is it.
Please support us by
abstaining from factory farmed salmon for your own sake and ours
joining over 1000 people who have signed ‘Save Staffa Archipelago’ online
printing and emailing this leaflet
and/or emailing us a letter of objection (ref 12/01176/MFF) for delivery to: Scottish Government, Argyll and Bute, Highland Council, SNH, SEPA, RSPCA Freedom Food and Marine Scotland Science jointly; demanding a moratorium like Norway’s on further expansion of this tragic industry, starting with the Gometra site, until it successfully puts its house in order – we want transparency and results, not mesmerizingly boring waffle, absurdly weak and duly missed targets, and vague un-auditable promises!
Sadly RSPCA Freedom Food branded Scottish salmon also suffers from these defects. If you wish to eat oily fish for its known health benefits, shore-based aquaculture, where seals do not have to be shot, cetaceans are not disturbed, wild fish are not infected with amplified sea lice and disease, lochs are not polluted with toxins and untreated effluent and the signature values of Scotlands treasured landscapes are not degraded, is just getting going, or else eat responsibly fished wild salmon or other oily fish.
The best thing about sea cage factory salmon farming is the people who work in it. They are trying to do an impossible job in difficult conditions, and the environmental problems remain despite and not because of their immense efforts to solve them. Latest industry figures published by the Scottish Government show 944 directly employed full-time Scotland-wide (excluding upstream, downstream and multiplier activities like processing and marketing which employ more). However, of the 5 people needed to grow 145 tonnes of salmon 20 years ago, 4 have been mechanised away. Sadly the sea cage industry has not created a job since 1986, and has never created a sustainable job. Meanwhile, evidence mounts of environmental devastation. The argument for avoiding sea cage farmed salmon is that research or self-evidence suggests that otherwise you are :
amplifying sea lice and disease which threaten survival of West Coast wild salmon and sea trout and the jobs which depend on them
de-wilding Scotland's iconic landscapes with industrial-scale factory farms and threatening the jobs which depend on them
buying acoustic harassment devices which disturb cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and whales) threatening the jobs which depend on them
buying bullets for seals and threatening the jobs which depend on them
polluting Scotland's lochs with excess nutrients, toxic metals and poisonous medication and threatening the jobs which depend on our pristine waters and biodiversity
crowding wild fishermen out of fishing grounds, indefinitely privatizing a public resource, the seabed
hogging diminishing wild fish stocks to feed farmed salmon
forcing unwanted factory farms on the inhabitants of many fragile & remote island communities who say ‘No!’ but are being rubber-stamped, stampeded, ignored, bullied and Sir Humphreyed into submission!
and risking your life and that of your unborn children – Hites et al. 2004 showed farmed Scottish salmon were contaminated with elevated levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs, which remain in body fat 50-75 years after supper and have been implicated in cancer, birth defects, learning difficulties, immune deficiency and diabetes). Their US EPA based cancer-risk advisory was not more than six Scottish salmon meals per year. Foran et al.’s 2005 advisory was farmed salmon meals should be 'effectively eliminated' for mid-range US EPA acceptable cancer risk. Girls and young women are particularly sucsceptible to non-cancer risks such as birth defects and Foran et al. point out that as a result of their data, all the dietary benefits of oily fish can be obtained by such at risk groups whilst avoiding farmed salmon and its POPs. Scottish Salmon Producers Organization have been unable to cite key post-2004 updating studies; contamination loads may have changed; some speculate that the Omega 3 content of farmed salmon fed on soya has fallen; failing fresh data we don't know. Scottish Quality Salmon pointed out at the time that contamination levels were tolerable from a cancinogenic viewpoint by FSA and WHO, though risk of birth defects, behavioural change and other health problems were flagged in the study but explicitly not quantified due to lack of international standards. Interestingly Ruzzin et al. 2009 found rats fed farmed salmon at levels tracking mid-life human POP loads rapidly developed diabetes and abdominal obesity, and flagged WHOs toxicology thresholds for POP induced metabolic disorders as being unfit. Researchers in the US hypothesise a link between the US obesity and diabetes explosions, and increased consumption of farmed salmon.
If this salmon factory farm is forced on the Island of Gometra, we will continue to fight until it is taken away.