Posted by: editor. | February 10, 2010

Some observations on your comments so far

Many thanks to all who have made contact and commented on the proposed fish farm in Broad Bay. A selection of your comments are below, and the vast majority of these are by local people living either close by the proposed development site, with experience as fish farmers, or as highly valued fisher tourists.

What is clear so far is the strength of the rejection of these proposals. The most common grounds for the objection are environmental, with deep concerns about the risk to the salmon and sea trout fisheries of the Broad Bay rivers. This is a risk that fish farmers can only try to manage they cannot eliminate the risk, and often the management process brings its own risks.

What is also very clear from these comments is that we are risking a real blow to tourism, high value salmon and sea trout angling tourism, as well as nature and wilderness experiences. This comes at a time when the opportunity to develop employment and real positive economic impacts through built on the improvements gained in the health and yield of the rivers, is at its highest in many years. If the process that so many volunteers locally have started is allowed to fully deliver, then  we have the prospect of sustainable employment being the result. Fish farm = the end of all that aspiration and effort. Lighthouse Caledonia will doubtless tell us that their methods and processes are safe. But perception, as the comments show, is everything. If we are seen in the wider world as a floating salmon factory the salmon fishers and tourists will go elsewhere.

I understand that these economic and tourism impacts are very much an issue that the planning authorities have to consider and have the right to consider, and I think these factors should be a full part of our case when it comes to the full planning consultation process beginning.

You views most welcome.

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