Arran Banner letters – week 23

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Salmon farm reality

Sir,

I was appalled to read the travesty of the self-congratulatory letter from the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) which appeared in the June 1 edition of The Arran Banner.

How rosy the salmon farming economy portrayed by the SSC appears from their point of view: 10 new jobs, £10million to the economy (all unsubstantiated) and always a willingness to be helpful in promoting their farming methods.

I recall their recent public presentation in Lochranza promoting the SSC plans for a 5,000 tonne salmon farm at Millstone Point, NE Arran, just around the corner from Lochranza, resulted in the whole village turning out to object! Also, I attended one of their recent much vaunted Q&A sessions in Brodick at which no Arran resident was in favour of Millstone Point or the SSC. Discussing these issues with other Arran attendees at other Q&A sessions, the common view was similarly that nobody wanted an SSC presence local to Arran. There is a common wish to preserve a hitherto pristine north end Arran environment.

Sadly, the reality with the SSC is tonnes of their farmed salmon in Loch Fyne and yes, even in Lamlash Bay, dying of asphyxiation in those polluted waters, use of overcrowded open net fish cages, plagues locally of sea lice around these cages preying on these trapped fish, with infection carried to the remaining Scottish migratory fish and metres of thick salmon faeces beneath the open cages contaminating the sea bed and local fisheries due to the preferred low tide locations of these farms.

Why is Millstone Point being selected by the SSC? It is because it is currently in unpolluted water with again a very low tidal flow. The low tidal flow was the reason for its previous selection as the site for the famous ‘measured nautical mile’.

SSC do not advertise the fact that 5kg of wild fish must be killed to produce food for 1kg of farmed salmon. How long can we keep on perpetuating this madness?

I do not believe that most people are against salmon farming as an industry, which is perhaps inevitable, but I do believe most people will be against the SSC promotion of its current open net farming methods did they but know the havoc that these are causing to our and our children’s environment. It is up to the SSC to use salmon farming methods that do not hazard the environment (which exist) and to regain the confidence of the public, which it currently does not have, before pressing for even more salmon farms.

John Ford, Lochranza.

Motorcycle show

The 7th Arran Motorcycle Show will take place at the Arran Heritage Museum in Brodick on Sunday June 23.

We are keen to hear from anyone who has a bike which they would like to be included in the show. It doesn’t have to be in great condition nor does it have to be old either, just so long as it’s interesting.We are keen to include classic cars and other interesting vehicles too. They don’t have to be in show condition either, so long as they would be of interest to visitors to the show.

If you’ve got a motorbike or other vehicle you think would be of interest we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact any of the organisers to let us know. Our email addresses are as follows: Ian Leitch,        ian.leitch@btopenworld.com; Ronnie Logan,            ronald.logan1@ntlworld.com; Lenny Hartley            liquidlenny@hotmail.com

We can also be contacted via our Facebook page (Arran Classic Motorcycle Show) or by speaking to us directly.

We can usually accept last minute entries, too, if you can get to the museum by around 10am on the morning of the show. We look forward to seeing you.

Ronnie Logan, Corrie.

Rural housing

Sir,

I am delighted to inform you the Arran Development Trust has been approved by Scottish ministers as a rural housing body.  This designation will take effect from June 30 and it is now making its way through the final stages of the parliamentary process.

Rural housing body status enables the Arran Development Trust to insert a rural housing burden on the title deeds of land and buildings to ensure they are utilised only as principal residences and not as second or holiday homes and by doing so, it will enable the ADT to ensure the new homes built/self-build plots remain affordable in perpetuity.  It also extends the right of pre-emption, which allows the ADT to purchase land or buildings first, if it/they are identified by the ADT as being of benefit to the Arran community.

May I take this opportunity on behalf of the ADT board to thank all those members and businesses who took part in the process and spoke so eloquently and positively in favour of this unique designation.  It is so very much appreciated and will have a hugely positive impact on the future of the community and sustainability of Arran.

Sheena Borthwick-Toomey, Secretary,
Arran Development Trust.

Toilet praise

Sir,

I have been coming to Arran for a very long time and was always a bit disgusted with the public toilets.

Not any more. I take my hat off to all the ladies/men who have taken over the toilets as the council no longer will fund these. These toilets are now first class, clean, with all you require provided and all they ask is a donation to help keep this going.

I must congratulate all these unsung heroes as they are providing a necessary service for the island and as a regular holidaymaker I thank you and keep up the good work which is very much appreciated.

Irene Allison, Airdrie.