Rejection of semi-closed farm will be a missed opportunity for Scotland

Loch Long Salmon Managing Director Stewart Hawthorn says the rejection of the company’s proposal to build Scotland’s first semi-closed containment salmon farm will be a missed opportunity to show “how natural resources can be used sensitively to benefit local communities and demonstrate that to the rest of the country.”

Hawthorn was responding to the planning officials’ advice to the National Park Authority Board to reject the project because it is deemed as “experimental,” among other reasons.

Stewart Hawthorn, Managing Director of Long Loch Salmon
Photo: Loch Long Salmon

In an op-ed in The Hearald on Friday, Hawthorn called on the board of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park “to take a broader, strategic perspective” when they decide the fate of the proposal at the end of this month.

He corrected misconceptions about the technology.

“Bringing this technology to Scotland for the first time would be a landmark in the evolution of Scotland’s aquaculture sector,” Hawthorn wrote.

He said the proposal was meant to demonstrate “what is possible… to drive forward a new era of sustainable progress for a critical part of Scotland’s rural economy,” working in tandem with the National Park, academics, researchers and regulators.

“By seizing the opportunity to bring Scotland’s first semi-closed containment salmon farm to the National Park, the Board can achieve the National Park’s twin goals of environmental preservation and securing the long-term viability of local communities while addressing “…national priorities and achieving benefits for Scotland beyond the National Park boundaries,” he wrote.

If approved, Loch Long Salmon is allowed to deploy five enclosures of 140m circumference, with a biomass limit of 3,452 tonnes.


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