A new salmon farm could soon emerge at Snarraness Voe on the West Side to help its developer Scottish Sea Farms Ltd overcome the impact of the recent infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) outbreaks around Scalloway.
Councillors gave their backing to the move when the proposal came before the special planning board last Thursday. Norwegian-owned Scottish Sea Farms say the development will help ensure the company’s long term viability, in light of prolonged fallow periods required at some of their sites in response to ISA.
The company also wants to relocate production to areas where it is the only operator – giving it better control over disease and parasite management. The new site on the southern shore of St Magnus Bay is 115 metres away from an existing mussel farm – well within the 500 metre gap that is required under council policy. The new development would partially overlap the two existing salmon work licences, however these will be revoked once the new site emerges.
The committee heard Scottish Sea Farms needed approval sooner rather than later, because salmon smolts bound for the site are generally delivered during April.
Laura Baisley moved the development be approved. “It’s a bit of a rush job but they [Scottish Sea Farms] are in the business to make a profit. They are not novices. We should let them go ahead and hope everything works out for them.”