I am grateful to Mr Landsburgh of the Scottish Salmon Producer’s Organisation for the civilised tone of his letter (19th July).  He chides me for supplying misleading information.  Receiving no response from Scottish Salmon Company, I obtained latest data from the Scottish Government Production Surveys.  These show 2010 direct employment in sea cage salmon production Scotland-wide of over 944 full time and 120 part time, a figure which has halved since the 1980s.  Of 5 people growing 145 tonnes of salmon 20 years ago, 4 have been mechanised away.  The best thing about sea cage salmon production is the people who work in it, and the Scottish Salmon Company state they can guarantee no jobs.   We believe none will come to this island.


 Shore aquaculture, entering commercial production in Ireland and Canada, is a solution : it tastes like wild salmon; wild salmon and sea trout are not infected with sea lice and disease; seals are not shot; and porpoises, dolphins and whales, a valuable employment resource in themselves, are not excluded from our Lochs by acoustic deterrent devices.


 The Gometra proposal is 5 Wembley Stadium football pitches of cage array containing 2 kilotonnes of factory farmed salmon in 42 football pitches of privatised sea.  Gometra, in the Staffa Archipelago. depends on our world-class wild and biodiverse seascape, having no teacher, doctor, or public services to offer residents or visitors.  Our access to surgeries and schools on Mull needs to be made safer, not more hazardous, and the island’s small community believes it dangerous and ridiculous  to put an industrial factory farm here.  We are not alone – on Eigg 98% of the population voted against and throughout the Hebrides, on Islay, Lewis, Seil, Colonsay, Rum, Mull and Arran, communities have been fighting salmon farms.  Neighbouring Iona and Mull Community Councils have objected, and our ‘Save Staffa Archipelago’ petition online stands at over 1000 signatures.


 The First Minister and Scottish Government are smart enough to understand on which side our bread is buttered, and the current Aquaculture Bill will I trust roll back Scottish Salmon industry’s environmental harm.  In the meantime the Gometra salmon farm proposal would devastate one of Scotland’s remotest communities and must be turned down.


 Roc Sandford

Isle of Gometra