The above map shows the location of the latest threat to the enjoyment of our local waters and the health and safety of navigators and our beautiful landscape. Lakeland Marine are proposing to relocate an existing salmon farm further North in Seil Sound to a position off the entrance to the Cuan Sound. The reason for the relocation is that "hydrographic conditions are more favourable" at the new site, which I assume means in other words that the tidal flows at the existing site are insufficient to remove the enormous quantities of waste food and debris produced by this form of industrial production.
Once again fish farming, the sacred cow of the Scottish economy, threatens the one asset we truly have in Scotland, our lovely landscape, and the tourist and leisure industries that are our major employers. Far more serious however is the threat to personal safety, as the proposal presents a major hazard to navigation.
When I first looked at the pre-application proposal I couldn't believe the figures. The farm is to contain twelve circular fish cages, each 100 metres in diameter, in two rows of six, tethered to twentyone mooring buoys positioned in a rectangle in excess of 300 metres wide by 510 metres long, making a total area, per the application form, of 179,800 square metres, or about 45 acres in old money. There is to be in addition a concrete feed barge, presumably similar to the grey monster off the North end of Shuna.
Above is the layout plan, showing the disposition of the cages and moorings. Effectively the area within the red boundaries becomes an exclusion zone for small craft.
And this is a large scale location plan, showing that the exclusion zone extends about half way across the Sound. This is an area well known for strong tidal streams and wind shifts. It's not as if the Cuan Sound is a backwater, in Summer it's one of the major routes North for visitors. Legally the power of the Crown Estate to grant leases of the seabed is subject to the rights of the public to navigate safely. This application is in flagrant disregard of those rights and must be resisted by all those who value our waters and the safety of those who venture out on them.
I will be looking out for formal notification of the application in the press and trust that those who care will be ready to object to it.