One of the key features of the new technology for the proposed Loch Linnhe mega-farm is its claimed ability to extract much of the solid waste produced (mostly fish poo).
However, figures from the developers which came to light during the recent Loch Long Planning Appeal hearings have cast doubt on their ability to extract anything like the amount they claim. Operational data from a Norwegian company using its own patented extraction technology, (presented at the Appeal by Loch Long Salmon themselves) show that 85- 90% of the waste could not be collected - six times more waste than is being claimed by LLS. Their Counsel was forced to concede that no company anywhere in the world had achieved 85% extraction.
At the Appeal, the developers asserted that performance had since improved, but the fact remains that their applications for the necessary licences from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) have claimed much better waste extraction than has been seen in practice. The amount of waste is critical in SEPA's decision whether to grant a licence, and what tonnage they would allow (a licence for Loch Long is already in place based on the 85% extraction claim, but the application for Loch Linnhe has yet to be granted).
We are so concerned about this discrepancy that we have written to SEPA raising our concerns as to whether the licence applications, using figures from highly optimistic computer models which are not backed up by real world data, are fundamentally flawed. We've asked to meet with a SEPA representative to go through the issue in more detail.
You can see a copy of the letter here - we'll of course update our website with any feedback which results.