Fingal's Cage

 

The wild land and clean seas of the Staffa Archipelago, threaded with dolphin, porpoise, seal, salmon, shark and whale, give succour to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and contribute to the livelihood of thousands nationally.

 

Argyll and Bute Council is now considering a plan to privatize 400,000 m2 of the waters of the Archipelago for a salmon factory farm site off Gometra (which I own and manage and where I live part time), 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 planned 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 Mull as a factory farming destination by committing the Staffa Archipelago to industrial aquaculture, and so choke the flow of green gold which underpins our economy.

 

Roc Sandford

 

gometrafarm@mac.com