It was announced a few days ago that a major producer of farmed salmon in Scotland was planning to establish large fishfarms in the open seas of the Minch. Up till now, fishfarms have been sited in sealochs around the West Coast of Scotland. The fishfarms would be double the size of the present fishfarms and carry accommodation for its workers. Such units apparently already exist in Norway and Canada.
Whether this is a good idea or not is difficult for me to judge. Salmon farming on an industrial scale carries environmental risks, such as those posed by the toxicity of substances used to treat infestations and infections in the fish; the amount of effluent generated by the fish and the problems of dead and escaped fish. The abovementioned proposals quote a shorebase at Barra, but I cannot imagine that this would generate much employment for these islands. The processing plants, such as existed in Scalpay and Stornoway, have been either closed, mothballed or downgraded - for the simple reason that they are not on the mainland.
I am posting this entry very much as a discussion piece, and welcome considered comments.