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Opposition to a fish farm on the Isle of Eigg

Opposition to a fish farm on the Isle of Eigg


Opened on September 08, 2011

Opposition to a Fish Farm on the Isle of Eigg

Eigg is owned and managed (including the foreshore) by the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, a community led organisation whose aims include taking all appropriate measures to conserve the natural heritage of the island for the benefit of the community & the wider general public.

To this end Eigg is building a reputation as a green island working towards sustainability. Visitors come to the island to learn from our experience and to enjoy the natural and cultural heritage of the island and the peace and quiet. Most of the islands electricity is generated by renewable technology and the sound of diesel generators is but a distant memory.

 Highland Council has recently received an initial application to site a fish farm off the east coast of Eigg, north of Kildonan. The site identified covers an area extending to 20ha (this equates to 28 football pitches) & would consist of 14 x 30m diameter cages which would be serviced by a 10m x 10m permanently sited barge (powered by diesel generator).

The community has considered this proposal at length. The outcome of the resulting ballot which had an 86% turnout was 97% against the development.

Eigg lies within the Small Isles National Scenic Area. A large fish farm would have a considerable negative impact on the approach to the island and could also impact negatively on the peace and quiet that visitors seek when they come to the island, as well as on the quality of life of nearby residents.

Amongst the many attractions Eigg has to offer close to the proposed site are

  • The Eigg Wall, a popular dive site, less than 1 km from the proposed fish farm site, populated by crabs, lobsters and wrasse and an abundance of other marine life eg plumose anemones, sponges, tubeworms and squirts, as well as scallops at the bottom of the wall.
  • A Harbour seal colony in the vicinity of  the proposed site on the approaches to Eigg pier
  • Grey seal haul out nearby. This is a popular attraction for the tourist boats coming to Eigg.
  • Otters are seen regularly around the east coast of Eigg including the proposed site.
  • Sea trout are caught on rod and line by residents and visitors in and around Kildonan and Galmisdale.
  • Clean Sandy beaches at Kildonan and Galmisdale popular with campers, sea kayakers and families.
  • Seagrass beds a priority marine feature in Galmisdale and Kildonan bays.
  • Golden Eagles nesting and hunting along the cliffs of the east coast.
  • Guillemots, Razorbills, Cormorants, Shags, Fulmar and Arctic Tern to name but a few of the seabirds that breed alongside the area of the proposed site.
  • Cetaceans and Basking Sharks are regularly seen around the East coast of Eigg.
  • The Kildonan to Cleadale walk, beneath the cliffs, following the shoreline is one of the best walks on the island with uninterrupted views across to the mainland and the possibility of siting many of the above species and a few more as well as viewing sites of geological and archaeological significance along the way.

 These along with many other attractions on Eigg bring visitors old and new to the island and provide a mainstay for the island economy. Although the development is likely to create 3 or 4 jobs, we believe the overall effect would threaten current & future jobs based around the natural heritage & the green economy.

 The pristine marine environment surrounding the small isles makes the area a strong candidate for marine protected area designation – to some extent because it is one of the few areas on the west coast without fish farms.

 Please sign this petition to help us show to the Highland Council Planning Department & the developers that it is unacceptable to site this development in such an area.

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