The proposed salmon mega-farm at Lurignish, between Duror and Appin, uses unproven technology. With the aim of eliminating sea lice infestations, the fish are kept in giant "semi-closed" containers rather than nets - giant plastic bags suspended in the loch containing millions of fish. An industrial estate's worth of industrial equipment is needed on the lochside to keep the water in the bags fresh and aerated, 24 hours a day.
CtrlAqua, Norway’s highly respected and industry leading aquaculture research centre, describes the semi-closed technology as unproven and experimental, "higher risk" than conventional farms. Recent experiments using this system in Canada and Norway have failed; in Canada thousands of fish died in their own urine after equipment problems, the Norwegian failures saw some of the giant plastic bags collapsing due to deficient manufacture, some due to storm damage.
The system has never been tried on any scale in Scottish waters; to propose a mega-farm of this size using this untested technology is surely reckless.
With so many fish crammed in to the mega-farm, any problem with the system - which CtrlAqua describe as "especially vulnerable to human error" - risks a catastrophic impact on the Loch Linnhe environment.
A major failure would be a potential disaster in an area of immense value for nature, biodiversity, residents and visitors risking significant adverse consequences for local communities, tourism based businesses and the profusion of leisure users of the loch.