When I received the e-mail today telling me about this, I thought it was a sick joke. Sadly, I have now established that it's not - it's very real.
Loch Etive is a sea loch on the West Coast of Scotland, one of the very few which remains as it has been since time immemorial. I know it very well and fish it regularly - it is truly beautiful. The insane plans included in the page linked to below will not only destroy sport for boat fishermen like me, it will destroy a huge part of the loch's eco-system, its wildlife and its scenery. Can you please spare a couple of minutes to look at this and register your protest before December 27th? Yes, you do unfortunately have to give your name and address but it is a British Government site and is as secure as I suppose any website can be.
Simply reading the short summary on the page should give you all the info you need as to why we all of us should be objecting.
Help Save Loch Etive
Thanks very much for at least reading and fingers crossed that we can make the all important difference...
Gordon, sorry but I can't agree with you here.
I live in Argyll & Bute, and these fish farms have brought a huge amount of jobs to the local economy, and helped boost local industries.
Beauty is all very well, but it doesn't put food in your belly, nor stop the young folk from moving away from the area as soon as they are old enough, to search for employment.
The environmental arguments against fish farms do not stand up in reality. There are precious few otters anyway, and the seals will survive though this too - there is no shortage of them.
We need the jobs. Simple as.
Thanks for your comment and I can understand your sentiments. I promise - I really can!
Unfortunately, they are short term realities. Farmed fish are substandard, frequently not native to the continent - never mind the loch - and regularly escape to interbreed with the natural fish of the seas and rivers. They are force fed "chemical muck", which is then introduced in to the systems of the fish in the natural eco-system.
While I agree with you that fish farms serve their purpose, that is purely as a result of the over-fishing and inappropriate fishing practices introduced and authorised by the despicable European Union.
Severely limiting their existence, with a view to their total extermination - combined with a wake up call for fishing practices! - is the only hope that natural fish in our waters have to not only thrive but to survive...
Signed, sealed delivered and tweeted. I can see both sides of the argument here, but I also think that fish farms are unsustainable therefore, so is employment resulting from that of fish farms- also, I hate the cruelty to fish farmed in this way. I do however, think g'ments should be lobbied and investment sought for people of the region in order to create jobs there. That would have my signature too.
I lived in Argyll and Bute for over seven years and unfortunately do not get back now as much as I would like. When I do, the unspoilt beauty of Loch Etive is one of the places I visit the most.
In my experience the young people who wanted to live and work in Argyll always found jobs if they wanted them. Those who moved on to further education often returned and found gainful employment outwith fish farming.
I don't think this fish farm is necessary and it will not attract a huge amount of jobs as a lot of the work will be automated.
Fish farming is no better than intensively rearing chickens as the fish cannot swim freely and develop normally. They are force fed and not particularly pleasant to eat.
It's not as if the communities of Argyll are starving and in dire need of sustenance.
Your comment 'There are precious few otters anyway' would suggest a total disregard for the protected wildlife in our countryside which I find strange from someone who sounds very protective of their environment. Just because there are very few of them left doesn't mean that we should ignore the remainder and just allow them to become extinct!
If it was going to affect dolphins or whales would you have the same lack of concern?
This will be a huge detriment to the area and should not go ahead.
I must confess to not having a liking for fish so wouldn't know the difference, taste-wise.
Surely it is better to raise fish in a farm than to overfish them from the sea?
There has been fish farms on Loch Fyne for at least 20 years, and they are still going strong, so how come you think it is short-term employment?
My comment about the otters was a bit blasé, I admit and I apologise for sounding uncaring.
Truth is, I have never seen an otter.
If they are that rare, how can a fish farm or anything else harm them?
Employment in my town is now almost 100% service industry jobs.
All the factories and distilleries (bar one) have closed down, the fishing fleet has been decimated from dozens of trawlers to less than 10.
The population is ageing. New comers into the area are retirees from south of the border. The young people who actually come back from getting educated go into the service jobs like teaching, nursing. policing etc, but no-one is bringing work into the town.
I stand by what I said. We need the jobs, few though they are. I have never heard anything bad about the fish farms of the area, and there are a few dotted all over the place.
Maybe it is cruel? Easily solved - just don't eat fish then demand would be pushed down.
Fish farms, like GMO foods, are jumping the gun. There is much risk involved with each of them as there are still many unknowns. That either of them should be looked at as advantageous because they provide jobs or supposed agricultural benefits is the kind of short-term thinking that puts commercial and residential developments in place in rural areas without consideration for traffic patterns, water runoffs, and even adequate retail food supply (food deserts).
Bottom line...stop overpopulating and overconsuming and pay attention to long-term repercussions of short-term economic decisions.
What ever happened to the 10-year plan, the 50-year plan, the 100-year plan? Is no one thinking ahead?
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