This event was inevitable, as Loch Roag has been under horrendous pressure from the different users for far too long. One of the matters that we tried to bring forward in the last Council was for the various users to reach agreement on the use of the loch (and others) to ensure that there was segregation between the leisure craft; the fishermen; the fish and mussel farmers; the estates; and everyone else.
I commented at the time that this was only the first stage of the process, as what the Council should be doing - when it got the appropriate powers - would be to designate particular lochs or sea areas for specific activities to allow faster planning approval. Effectively a Marine Local Plan for each area, with stricter zoning.
Now some of the questions that require to be answered are:
* Seals: a pest to be exterminated or a tourist attraction to be cuddled?
* How do we segregate the different users and expectations for the loch?
* Are there other locations that the fish farmers should move to, and if so who pays to relocate them?
No doubt this incident - on top of the others - will focus minds on a business that employs a large number of people in the islands and puts a huge amount into the local economy.