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The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Salmon escape

I can't bring myself to feel much surprise at the huge loss of salmon in Loch Roag, and whilst not wanting to favour the fishing Estates, I am worried that the timing of the loss may very really affect the salmon stocks that the local fishermen seek to catch.

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.


Anonymous said...

there are 10 types of people who know about binary - those who love it and those who hate it. Just slipped this cookie in to see if people actually read only the blogs that interest them or the ones that have comments?!

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course, a system of marine spatial planning is needed. Both the UK and, hopefully, Scottish marine bills will introduce such a system. Under the system proposed by the former Executive's Advisory Group (which the new Government has not yet responded to) local planning would be carried out by partnerships led by local authorities (eg like the Moray Firth partnership but with statutory basis). Without knowing it, Angus, you have expressed a policy idea advocated by SNH and several environmental NGOs - good to have you on board, even you do feel uncomfortable now!!?! Perhaps you might care to encourage your (former?) SNP colleagues to get on with their commitment!

PS 10 is the binary expression of 2 :)

Angus said...

Actually anon, I knew exactly what I was saying and I was trying to lay out the process and potential benefits for the other readers.

Much credit must go to the Western Isles Fisheries Trust who have delivered some notable marine spatial planning successes in (IIRC) East Loch Tarbert and Loch Carnan, and who always had Loch Roag in their sights as the biggest and most complex project.

The WIFT had limited resources and even more limited power, but their work now needs to be picked-up and run with by the various statutory bodies.

On this, SNH and I agree and I don't feel slightest uncomfortable about that, having Chaired the Coastal Zone Management Forum in which everyone wanted to achieve more but which we were constrained/restrained by lack of power.

ps 10 x 10=100 is the same in decimal and binary

Anonymous said...

first anon - 3 and 11 are 'lucky' numbers for me...and the same nuimber away from my 'luckiest' of all... but i think thats enough diversions for now!