Cruise Arrivals


Papay campaigners appeal to environment minister

Protestors gathered on Papa Westray prior the Orkney Islands Council’s planning committee meeting on the East Moclett salmon farm.

Campaigners on Papa Westray have urged Scotland’s environment minister to impose a ban on fish farming developments across Scotland.

The call from the ‘Save Papay! Halt the East Moclett Fish Farm on Papa Westray’ campaign group comes after Orkney Island Council’s planning committee unanimously approved an application from Cooke Aquaculture on Thursday, September 8.

Now, the group has written to Mairi McAllan, the minister for environment, biodiversity and land reform.

The group’s letter describes their effort as a “community-led demand for an immediate moratorium on all fish farm applications and ongoing developments in Scotland.”

Following the approval of the East Moclett salmon farm, the group is calling on Ms McAllan “to use your Scottish Ministerial legal powers to halt this – and all other fish farm development and applications – until you align the considerable recommendations of the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee (ECCLRC) report on the environmental impacts of salmon farming, with the actual position in November 2022.”

Cooke Aquaculture have been asked for a response.

When the East Moclett salmon farm was approved, the company pointed out that none of the statutory consultation bodies, including SEPA, opposed the development. It also said that farm was assessed against all relevant policies of the Orkney Local Development Plan and other relevant material planning considerations.

Joel Richardson, vice president of public relations for Cooke Aquaculture said: “It is important to note that while various campaigners promote false information about the UK’s number one food export, farm-raised Scottish salmon, it is clear with this approval that they are misleading the public in an attempt to further their own agendas.”

He added: “Make no mistake that skilled, well-paying jobs for Orkney people and their families is far more important to keep remote communities viable. No farmers – no food.”

The company further affirmed its plans for hiring and training six new local employees to run the East Moclett site.

For the full story, see next week’s edition of The Orcadian.