Letter: Carradale fish farm concerns

Marine Harvest

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I write in response to Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell’s ‘disappointment that there has been so little local consultation about the proposal’ for a third salmon farm near Carradale.

It should read that there has been no local consultation, allowing for debate on the applicant Marine Harvests’ (MH) intentions, permitting the people of Carradale and the wider area of East Kintyre to form a view.

The Courier’s ‎article, August 3, informs the community that in addition to the maximum production of salmon per year that MH also requires the approval of bath medicines.

To any individual keen to form an opinion on the impact of bath medicines upon both our food chain and environment I would recommend as a first read: ‘The Salmon; the Extraordinary ‎story of the King of Fish’ by Michael Wigan.

The following extract from that book will be of interest to not only the wider community but also specifically to Kintyre’s  farmers.

‘The number and quantity of chemicals used by salmon farmers in mind-boggling.

‘The business has spawned ‎its own chemical arsenal. In 2011 in the Scottish industry 35 medicines were licensed to keep salmon clean, and 25 anti-fouling substances were available to unclog nets and cages.

‘Drug manufacturers facing the  challenge of resistance to treatment in sea lice from single concoctions were pushed to recommending suites of chemical compounds as possible solutions.

‘This proliferation of chemicals coincides with the efforts by the European Union to ban or reduce those available to crop growers  on farmland’.

This one extract paragraph raises several questions to which the people of Kintyre presently do not have the answers.

The applicant, MH, is seeking approval for the use of three named ‘bath medicines’: Cyperniethrin, a neurotoxin highly toxic to fish and aquatic insects; Deltamethrin a pesticide highly toxic to aquatic life, particularly fish, and therefore must be used with extreme caution around water and Azamethiphos an insecticide veterinary drug used to control parasites.

Are bath medicines not just fancy wording for chemicals? What should be the first question for MH?

Tommy Macpherson,

Member of East Kintyre Community Council,