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Proposed fish farm threatens welfare

A huge fish factory farm could be built at Tayinloan, Kintyre, in a coastal area designated as Sensitive Countryside, according to plans submitted by company 'FishFrom'.

A school of young salmon

Compassion is deeply concerned by the proposed fish farm for several reasons.

  • An industrial development on the proposed scale will have a major impact on the landscape, local residents and visitors.
  • The scale of the fish farm is also likely to create various forms of pollution including noise, smell and light.
  • There is a risk of flooding, disease outbreak among the fish, and escapes.
  • An inexperienced company taking on an experimental project of this scale could substantially increase these risks.

However, the biggest risk of this application is the welfare of the fish.

The reported stocking density - a measure of the crowding of fish - will be up to double that of other fish farms of this type. It is also five times the density permitted by organic standards. Operating with stocking densities up to twice the industry average is completely unacceptable from a welfare perspective.

A number of scientific surveys and respected authorities, including the European Commission, the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council and the Fisheries Society of the British Isles, have stressed that high densities can have an adverse impact on fish welfare.

In addition, the proposed system promotes unnaturally fast growth, appears not to allow access to natural light and restricts the ability of the fish to perform natural behaviours - all of which are likely to have a detrimental impact on the welfare of the fish.

Compassion in World Farming has submitted a formal objection to this farm.

A link to the application can be found here. We understand comments are still being taken.