MARINE Harvest has won planning approval to install a salmon farm off the Isle of Rum, the company reported today.
Part of a move to expand the business by developing a number of new sites on the west coast of Scotland, the application was made almost two years ago.
The farm, expected to create 12 new jobs, would be one of the next generation of ‘open sea’ farms being developed by the aquaculture company to meet continuing demand for Scottish salmon.
Since 2009 Marine Harvest has opened new farms off Barra, the Isle of Muck and Colonsay.
Ben Hadfield (pictured), managing director of Marine Harvest Scotland, said: ‘We are delighted that the committee has approved our plans for a salmon farm off Rum.
‘This will bring much needed jobs to the island. We look forward to starting work on the salmon farm and plan to be operational this year, growing high quality salmon to meet the demands of our customers across the globe.’
Marine Harvest held consultations with the local community at the start of the application process, with an information open day on the island and discussions with the Isle of Rum Community Trust, the Isle of Rum Community Association and local commercial fishermen.
Local people, members of the Community Trust and representatives from Scottish Natural Heritage also visited the Marine Harvest farm on neighbouring Muck to find out more about how it operates.
As well as the 12 permanent jobs created, there is also likely to be work for one or two seasonal workers. Marine Harvest proposes to build accommodation in Kinloch for its Rum staff, due to the shortage of available housing.
The salmon farm on Muck has created 10 new jobs with new homes built to accommodate some of the farm staff.