Save Seil Sound!
Welcome to our campaign to stop the building of a large fish farm in Seil Sound, Argyll.
APRIL 2016 - in April 2013 we lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission following the catastrophe that happened at Ardmaddy at the end of 2011 when over 80,000 mature salmon died in the fish cages there. The incident raised serious issues regarding public health and safety, given that ever 250 tonnes of potentially toxic category 2 waste was created, sufficient to require a fleet of lorries in a location with virtually no road access.
We discovered that none of the public bodies responsible for public health had been taking any steps to monitor movements or disposal of such waste, partly because the west coast of Scotland had been registered as "remote" and the UK government had negotiated a derogation from the EU regulation that was made in 2002 after the BSE crisis. Since 2002 fish farming has grown massively and the effect of the derogation was that the operators of industrial fish cages could effectively do what they wanted. The Commission has now agreed with us and effectively upheld the complaint CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Seil Sound is an area of outstanding scenic beauty in Scotland’s historic heartland, much loved and enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.
The proposal involves the installation of a series of cages about 32 metres in diameter, twelve in number, occupying a rectangular area 300m by 100m on the surface of sea (more than four FIFA football pitches).
There would be a netted structure over each circular cage. They would be serviced by a permanently installed industrial grey concrete barge with a deck area of 26 metres by 18 metres, surmounted by a building almost two storeys in height. Diesel generators would run day and night, there would be underwater lighting in winter and the operators propose to apply for a licence to shoot the local seals.
At peak production, the farm would need to house up to 450,000 adult salmon (approximately 2,500 tonnes of fish). The resulting massive pollution would threaten the biodiversity in the waters of the Seil Sound and nearby Loch Melfort.
The waters are home to significant populations of native wild fish, seals, dolphins and porpoises as well as seabirds.
Research suggests that sea trout and wild salmon passing through the sound would be at increased risk of infestation from sea-lice and other infections. This could threaten their continued existence.
This area is central to boats sailing between Cuan Sound, Balvicar, Craobh Haven, Loch Melfort and Crinan. It is enjoyed by large numbers of people, and is important to the yachts, kayaks, and trip-boats that collectively provide important employment locally. A very long-established walking route from Ardmaddy to Loch Melfort is celebrated for the magnificent views over these same waters.
The applicants are largely owned from Poland with the result that little of the profit arising from destruction of a major economic and environmental asset would stay in Scotland. The applicants claim that the project would provide “3 to 4 full-time and two part-time employees”. It is doubtful that these would outweigh the damage to the local tourist economy.
Over seven hundred people have so far registered their objections to this proposal with Argyll & Bute Council, who will be dealing with the associated planning application later this year. The objectors are not all against fish farms in principle, but agree that this one is simply in the wrong place and the environmental and economic risks are too high for it to be allowed.
This website has been set up to provide a focus for our campaign. In the pages which follow you can read more detail about the planning proposal and the grounds on which objections are being made. The site also allows you to take part in our campaign to save Seil Sound.