Loch Long Salmon appeals decision killing semi-closed salmon farm project in Scotland

Published on
February 6, 2023

Loch Long Salmon has submitted an appeal of a rejection of plans for what would have been Scotland’s first semi-closed containment salmon farm.

The board of directors overseeing Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park rejected the project in October 2022,

Loch Long Salmon, a joint venture between Simply Blue Aquaculture, Trimara Services, and Golden Acre Foods, first proposed the Beinn Reithe project near Arrochar, Scotland, in October 2021. The Scottish Government gave it a “national significance” designation,” saying the project could demonstrate the commercial viability of cutting-edge salmon-farming technology while addressing environmental concerns about existing salmon-farming techniques. The technology and project were endorsed by environmental NGOs including the Atlantic Salmon Trust, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust, according to the company.

However, the park board ruled the project not fully align with the local development plan and therefore could not be supported.

“We believe the National Park’s decision to prevent this proven, transformative technology being brought to Scotland for the first time was based on fear and a lack of knowledge and understanding,” Loch Long Salmon Managing Director Stewart Hawthorn said in a press release. “The National Park has no experience of handling this kind of application and, rather than listening to experts such as NatureScot, SEPA and Forestry and Land Scotland, who all said the project could go ahead, they based their view on a misunderstanding that our plans were the same as existing open-net salmon farms.  This is fundamentally flawed.”

Hawthorn said the project could have proven the technology successfully ... 

Photo courtesy of Long Long Salmon

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