Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

NTS claims proposal for fish farm off Canna ‘is probably the worst location that could have been chosen’

Highland cattle on Canna, Inner Hebrides.
Highland cattle on Canna, Inner Hebrides.

A proposal to install the largest fish farm cages in the UK off Canna “is probably the worst location that could have been chosen,” according to the charity which owns the tiny isle.

Mowi, the world’s largest salmon producer, has revealed plans for eight fish farm cages to produce thousands of tonnes of organic salmon in one of the most environmentally protected areas of sea in Britain.

However, conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland has submitted a letter of protest, arguing that the proposed fish farm is located within the biologically richest part of the Small Isles Marine Protected Area.

The cages would be 524ft in circumference and the eight pens would cover more than twice the size of a football pitch.

While the area is home to a variety of marine life, particular attention has been drawn to two extremely rare invertebrates, the burrowing anemone and the Fan Mussel.

The farm would have a maximum biomass of 2,500t of salmon which can be expected to discharge annually the same amount of waste as a town of 33,000 people.

The population of Oban is 8,500 in the winter, rising to about 25,000 in the summer.

NTS fears that all of the waste could have a devastating impact on the seabed.

Strong objections have been raised following a scoping document submitted by Mowi to the Highland Council. NTS has concluded that there are “deficiencies” in the information provided.

Fears over the potential of rats being reintroduced to Canna by associated shipping, thereby threatening important seabird populations, have also been highlighted.

Indeed, such is the proximity of a protected seal haul-out site to Mowi’s proposed site that they would potentially have to shoot seals to protect their stock.

Scottish Natural Heritage has also warned of potential “significant effects” on birds and marine life.

NTS head of conservation and policy, Stuart Brooks said: “The protection of the cultural and natural heritage of Canna on behalf of the nation is our responsibility.

“Based on the information provided by MOWI so far about their fish farm proposals, we have no confidence that their plans would not undermine, if not destroy, the very things that make Canna so important.”

Richard Luxmoore, the trust’s senior conservation adviser said: “Two parliamentary committees have concluded that the environmental impact of fish farms is unacceptable and recommended no further expansion until better controls are in place.”

A spokesman for MOWI said: “We are disappointed to see the NTS publicly campaign so early in this scoping process.

“Our science experts will continue to work with the Canna Development Trust to explore the potential for a sustainable aquaculture development, and look forward to discussing scientific evidence that is the basis for Canna’s decision whether to proceed.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in