Organic Sea Harvest date nears for 5,000t of Skye salmon

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2227

Two fish farms planned for the Isle of Skye by Organic Sea Harvest have each attracted about three dozen local people in opposition, as the April 9 the deadline approaches for Town Council to approve their salmon production.

Organic Sea Harvest is linked via its director, Hugh Drever, to Norwegian Villa Seafood, for which he’s also that company’s UK-based chief operating officer. Organic Sea Harvest plans at least 2,500 tonnes of salmon from each of two sites that already have key go-aheads.

It’s up to Highland Council, now, to approve the sites at Culnacnoc and Invertote and, reportedly, a third site. According to the Staffin Community Trust, Organic plans to sell the salmon under the brand, Skye Organic, as well as to hire fourteen full-time staff and pay to the Trust 5 pence per kilo of fish landed at the Staffin Slipway, or GBP 140,000 annually.

However, an earlier 2013 inquiry into land and infrastructure by Mr. Drever suggests the scale of area grow-out might still be envisioned at 10,000 t of yearly salmon. Some GBP 18 million was once the projects scope, but activity like dredging rules that out, and now some GBP 3.5 million per farm is the estimated price tag.

Seabed surveys — a subject scrutinized recently by Scottish officials — have already been made at the sites, although it isn’t clear how new biomass-placement rules based on marine surveys will apply to the new sites or how they’ll affect Council’s decision come April.

According to The Ecologist, Organic Sea Harvest’s registered application with Highland Council is for 12 open-net pens on each site.

“Locals soon started registering their objections, which currently total 33 for each site. A decision is due on 17th April.”