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Fish-farm Plan Sparks Fears for Marine Reserve

UK - Scotland's first community marine conservation area could be threat from plans for a large-scale salmon farm off Arran claim a group of islanders.

According to The Scotsman the Scottish Government announced last month that Lamlash Bay in Arran was being given statutory protection in a groundbreaking move following a lengthy local campaign.

Under the proposals, part of the bay will become a marine reserve with a no-take zone (NTZ) where fishing activity will be banned, and the remainder will be a fisheries management area.

But the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (Coast) said the future of the NTZ is being put at risk by a planning application from fish-farm giant Marine Harvest. The proposal will go before North Ayrshire Council on 4 March.

Coast said: "If Marine Harvest's proposed fish farm is given the go-ahead, it will be one of the largest in Scotland, and a huge industrial site measuring 1,000m long and 700m wide, with an average depth of 29m.

"The fish farm would hold up to 800,000 fish, which would be fed over 5,000 tonnes of feed and produce over 1,170 tonnes of excrement during each production cycle.

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Ellen Hardy

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