Orkney council to vote on Cooke’s offshore salmon farm proposal this week

Orkney Council’s planning committee will vote this week whether to or not to approve Cooke Aquaculture Scotland’s proposal for a second fully offshore salmon farm in Scotland.

The farm would comprise six 160-metre pens and be stocked with organic smolts. It would be located near East Moclett, Papa Westray, where significant water depth and tidal flows will minimise effects on the local environment, said Cooke.

The proposal has both detractors and supporters. No objections have been given by the six statutory consultation bodies, including Historic Environment Scotland, Marine Scotland and NatureScot, according to The Press and Journal.

The Orkney Trout Fishing Association has welcomed the development of a fish farm away from where sea trout spawn, but it is concerned that the current approach to salmon farming is failing to protect Orkney’s marine environment, the news outlet reported.

Cooke is building the second farm following the success of its first – which is also Scotland’s first – “high energy” offshore site in the country. That offshore farm is located in East Skelwick.

If approved, the new farm will create six full-time jobs at the site.

Read also: Impact of Cooke Aquaculture’s salmon farming on remote Scottish islands revealed

Cooke said it will need to expand its processing capability once the farm starts producing salmon, therefore this will create additional jobs at its processing facility in Kirkwall.


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