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Wild swimmers challenge Scottish salmon farm pesticide - Tourism incompatible with these fish farms

Excerpt: "THE waters of Cour Bay, on the Kintyre peninsula, are crystal clear. But locals who swim there and live by its shore have become concerned that, with the arrival of a new large Mowi salmon farm in the North Kilbrannan sound, they may cease to be so pristine.

Swimmers and water users are putting up a new type of fight against salmon farms – one that revolves around human health and safety, around the tensions between tourism and the growing fish-farm industry."

“The local community have been swimming in Cour Bay for centuries and it has been a holiday destination for over 100 years. The sheltered, unspoiled bay is the major attraction with swimming, water sports and the scenery.
Swimmer in Cour Bay

"Their claim is that pesticide chemicals used by salmon farms, which are known to be hazardous to human health and include organophosphate azamethiphos, will contaminate the bay, and that, since no guidance or studies are held by Sepa (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) to demonstrate what safe levels are, swimmers may be at risk, as may all those using the water near salmon farms."

"One of the key chemicals that will be used in the North Kilbrannan Sound farm – and one used by most fish farms – is organophosphate azamethiphos. Sepa, on its website, publishes a safety data sheet for on this pesticide which warns of “acute toxicity”. Other warnings include the following: “Contaminated work clothing should not be allowed out of the workplace.” “Swallowing a small quantity will result in serious health hazard.”

“If we’re trying to attract people to these areas,” he said, “in which of course tourism is much bigger business than fish farming, then you’ve got to take into account that a lot of the people coming are coming for reasons which are incompatible with having these farms there.”

Excerpts above from Article by: Vicky Allen | Herald Scotland | Feb. 14, 2021

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