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Mowi Scotland has applied for planning consent to establish a new marine fish farm at Stulaigh Island, Locheynort.

The proposed site is within the nearshore waters south of Stuley Island and north of Lochboisdale.

The fish farming company wants to develop an Atlantic salmon farm with a maximum standing biomass of 3,000 tonnes.

The proposed installation comprises six circular pens measuring 200 metres in circumference, configured in one 2 x 3 group, held in a 120m mooring matrix with associated mooring lines.

The total equipment surface area is 1.97 hectares, but the total planning boundary extends to almost 51 hectares.

In their submission, Mowi Scotland states that the site will be operated from an existing shore base at Lochboisdale, which is leased from Stòras Uibhist.

The proposed marine site is expected to create seven permanent jobs: a site manager, one assistant manager, three farm technicians, and two additional regional farm technicians.

The total potential payroll is £216,344, with an average annual salary of £32,884. It is also claimed the project would inject £471,000 into the local economy.

The company’s environmental impact assessment report says the Stulaigh South has been selected based on its position at the edge of an open water environment, the Little Minch.

“This site is considered to have the necessary dispersive characteristics suitable to operate at levels greater than 2,500t using the latest modelling tool under the new SEPA regime,” the report contends.

“The site is also suitably distant from other aquaculture operators reducing external pressures and supporting management. The proposal reflects the company’s strategy to use fewer larger pens at its sites by proposing six pens of 200m circumference to support fish health, welfare, and containment.”

The report goes on to say that sensitivities and constraints have been carefully considered throughout the selection and design process and concludes that with mitigation, there will be no significant effects.