New organic salmon farms approved for Skye

Published on
April 25, 2018

Two new organic salmon farms will be created off the coast of the Scottish island of Skye after the Highland Council approved planning permission.

To be operated by Organic Sea Harvest (OSH), the farms at Tote and Culnacnoc, near the village of Staffin, will each comprise 12, 120-meter cages, enabling the company to harvest up to 5,000 metric tons (MT) of fish annually. Production will adhere to Soil Association organic aquaculture standards.

While there were local objections to the new farms, particularly in terms of their potential impacts on the marine environment and local tourism, the project had the support of the Staffin Community Trust (SCT), not least for the economic and social benefits that it could bring the district, which is classed as “fragile” by the Scottish Government. 

In a statement, SCT said, “Staffin cannot be overly reliant on one industry, such as tourism, and the creation and diversification of our local economy into aquaculture is hugely beneficial for our community’s sustainability.”

OSH will produce and package a locally-branded product before wholesaling to major retailers as organic Skye salmon. It is estimated these processes could create 38 jobs as well as further indirect supply and service employment opportunities.

The company has also agreed to make annual payments to the SCT, which will result in at least GBP 140,000 (USD 196,834, EUR 160,084) becoming available for further investment in the community.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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