Posted by: Peter Urpeth | February 16, 2010

Call for new economic survey for Broad Bay

 The No Fish Farms In Broad Bay campaign is calling for the commissioning of a full, independent survey of the economic potential for tourism and salmon / sea trout angling in the Broad Bay area. Further, the campaign is calling for a moratorium on fish farm development in Broad Bay until such time as the proposed economic report has been completed and its findings fully explored and evaluated.

In recent years there has been a very significant improvement in the salmon and sea trout fisheries of the Broad Bay area (including the Gress River, Laxdale River and the Tong pool) as a consequence of the hard work of the angling and and fisheries associations and local volunteers along with other factors, and the economic potential for sustainable, environmentally friendly economic development is very much a reality.

 In 1999 / 2000 an island-wide economic survey demonstrated that angling was worth more than £5million per annum to the local economy, supporting 256 FTE jobs. That survey was conducted more than a decade ago and before the recovery of the Broad Bay fisheries, and these rivers now offer a significant potential boost to the local economy and local employment.

 We understand that the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust are currently looking at opportunities for a new island-wide economic survey, and that within the Broad Bay area there is significant new development emerging with a new angling association for the Coll River.

 Campaign spokesperson Peter Urpeth said:

 “In the development of our local rivers, we have a very positive message for the future of our local economy and environment. This campaign is a positive campaign for the local economy, and I believe that in Broad Bay we have the potential for long-term, sustainable employment and local economic benefit that is sensitive to the environment and which encourages and supports high-value tourism and angling. It is now more than a decade since the last economic survey was conducted and we need that to be renewed as soon as possible to fully show the economic potential for the next ten years and beyond. I believe that is also only reasonable that no harm is in the meantime done to our local economy and environment through the development of a fish farm in Broad Bay. “


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