Editorial opinion: Fish farm furore

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If the volume and sentiment of letters received by the Arran Banner is anything to go by, it would appear that the proposed fish farm expansion in Lamlash Bay and the subsequent letter from the CEO of the Scottish Salmon Company, has hit a nerve with many Arran residents.
The assertion by the applicant, that a full public consultation with residents and organisations will be undertaken, along with a screening and scoping request, not only shows a willingness for transparency and co-operation but is sure to answer a multitude of concerns, on both sides of debate, as the benefits and drawbacks becomes apparent and reveal themselves.
The rights, aspirations and objectives of each side seeking to agree on a satisfactory resolution – not necessarily mutually agreeable – appear to be at diametric opposites.
In a similar fashion to the manner in which the South Arran Marine Protected Area has become a case study for educational and conservation organisations, the outcome of this debate between big business and local population will set a standard that will have further implications for aquatic farming and marine conservation along the West Coast of Scotland and much further field.