Aquaculture for all

Scotland’s first semi-closed containment salmon farmer seeks backing for new site

Atlantic Salmon Sea lice Technology & equipment +5 more

Loch Long Salmon, which aims to produce salmon in semi-closed containment systems that help to reduce the impact of aquaculture, has launched a series of community consultation events as it aims to get backing for a new farming site in Loch Linnhe.

a view from the sea
The proposed site location

© Loch Long Salmon

The company’s first application – on Loch Long – was turned down by the planners, so they are now targeting a new development on Loch Linnhe and will be speaking to the communities of Duror and Kentallen, and Appin in September and October respectively.

Loch Long Salmon have submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PoAN) notice to Argyll & Bute Council for a closed containment at sea salmon farm near Lurignish cattle farm on Loch Linnhe.

The marine infrastructure would include eight closed farming enclosures measuring approximately 50m in diameter as well as two freshwater holding units, and a closed harvest enclosure. The shore base would be located adjacent to the marine infrastructure, approximately half a kilometre west of Lurignish Farm.

From the surface the containment at sea farm would look similar to a conventional salmon farm, but underneath the water, the net is surrounded by an impermeable membrane, with water drawn up and circulated from deeper in the Loch. This removes the threat of sea lice and attacks by seals, meaning it won’t ever use sea lice treatments or acoustic devices that can harm dolphins or other cetaceans. Hundreds of production cycles using these systems in other countries have proven these facts, as well as showing no escapes, addressing a further concern around the aquaculture sector.

The secondary barrier also captures almost all of the salmon waste, and this is recovered and used in green energy production or as a fertilizer ingredient.

Loch Long Salmon has already undertaken extensive and constructive engagement with local people including open information days in Appin (22 March 2023) and Duror & Kentallen (17 April 2023), a meet the buyer event in Oban (10 May 2023), as well meetings and briefings with local community councils and elected representatives.

The dates and times of the exhibitions for the Lurignish farm are as follows with information also being added to the Loch Long Salmon website.

  • Duror & Kentallen Community Centre – 14 September (2pm – 7pm)
  • Appin Village Hall – 24 October (2pm – 7pm)

Commenting on the submission of the PoAN, Stewart Hawthorn, managing director of Loch Long Salmon, said: “We have already met with many local people as we have been developing our proposal for this location. I am proud to be bringing this approach to Scotland as we seek to address environmental and fish welfare concerns regarding the salmon farming sector in Scotland.

“Delivering low carbon, low environmental impact food is one of the key global challenges we face as a society. We must bring this technology to Scotland quickly so we are part of the solution to man-made climate change and to address more local environmental and fish welfare concerns. Inaction is no longer an option; we must act urgently and embrace change if we are to make a positive difference.”

“I hope as many people as possible will come along to the next two events now that the formal planning application process has started so we can explain how transformative and proven closed containment at sea salmon farming could bring jobs and investment to the community, while addressing the environmental concerns some people have.”

The company has also confirmed they are not pursing plans for a site at Balnagowan on Loch Linnhe and have withdrawn a lease option agreement with Crown Estate Scotland to solely pursue plans for the Lurignish site.

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