Messages: Stop scapegoating the salmon industry. Fishermen have caught and killed millions of wild fish

The highland community around Loch Horn says they have dealt a decisive blow to protecting wild fish populations in Scotland by preventing the expansion of a local salmon farm (“Campaigners celebrate preventing the expansion of a salmon farm,” The Herald, July 13). They say this is a defining moment in realizing the biggest threat from salmon farming – how parasites harm wild fish. However, this may be the first and last moment, because despite the well-established narrative from the fishing sector, sea lice from salmon farms are not the reason for the decline in wild fish stocks. Even the head of CIPA’s environmental department, Peter Pollard, said in a report to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy Committee that salmon farming was not responsible.

Friends of Loch Horn (FOLH) commissioned scientific modeling to prove the threat to wild fish, but the actual numbers of wild fish tell a different story. Rod fishing data, which Scottish government scientists use to assess wild fish stocks, shows that since the farm first arrived in the area, salmon and roast catches have actually increased. Even the FOLH data confirm this. They highlighted a restocking program that started before the farm arrived, indicating that the local fish stock was already in trouble.

What FOLH has chosen to ignore is that salmon returning to all Scottish rivers has been in decline since the 1970s. One in four salmon used to return from feeding at sea. The number is now one in 25, and most importantly, fishery scientists still don’t know why. More importantly, the decline affected all rivers across Scotland, including those hundreds of miles from any salmon farm.

They also ignore the fact that since records began, 984 salmon and 2,049 marine trout have been caught and killed from the Arnisdale River for sport. This is from a river that has a typical annual catch of 30-40 salmon per year. Since 1952, fishermen have caught and killed about 5.9 million wild fish in Scotland, and now they are wondering why there is none left. Instead of accepting any responsibility, the wild fish sector made a scapegoat for the salmon farming industry and now FOLH is.

Dr. Martin Jaffa, Callander McDowell, London.

The refugee plan is wrong

While it is good news that Ukrainian refugees will be housed in 200 refurbished housing units in North Lanarkshire, as well as being granted accommodation on board the chartered MS Victoria that will be based in Leith (“Scottish local authority will use 200 homes for Ukrainian refugees”, The Herald, July 11, and Letters, July 13), differs from living in a hotel with all its attendant costs. One must wonder about the thoughts of the countless homeless Scots who walk the streets of our cities every night and realize that they do not deserve political news.

The concentration of these numbers of refugees is sure to stress local communities beyond breaking point, whether it be medical care, social needs or education. If the goal of the exercise is to try to integrate them into the local community, then living together in these numbers gives them little incentive to mingle with their new neighbors and learn a new language.

Robin Johnston, Newton Mearns.

Look again at railway prices

I have found it interesting that just over 19 years after the London introduction of the Oyster Card which introduced an integrated London fare system, with its zones one through six covering most of the old GLC, IPPR Scotland is proposing to introduce such a system in Scotland, even Had her aim been to lower prices rather than provide comfort, though, this would follow (“a call for a fairer transport system as low-income Scots say of travel anxiety”, The Herald, 12 July).

Why hasn’t the Scottish government taken action before to at least integrate fares across Scotland, or at least provide simple tickets? After all, in general, the only integration between bus and rail is the possibilities that the PlusBus system opens up where local bus travel can be added to the rail ticket.

It’s also time to look at train fares again. The fact that most single flexible fares are about the same as returns is of course going back to the days before major stations were closed and the system was introduced to effectively reduce the cost of ticketing fraud.

Duncan McKay, Aberdeen.

Midges: Some house trees

I would suggest that all kilt-wearers in Scotland, especially those of the “True Scotsman” persuasion, have noted that the scholars responsible for the Scottish Midge Forecast have warned that hordes of midges may be about to be among us (“Midges” can return with a bang”, Herald, July 13). Our worthy forecasters have pointed out that under some of the wetter weather, the little persecutors can come back with some force, causing a big “bang” for their bite. In this case, at In some parts of the country, it may be advisable for Donald of Skye and others, for a while, to keep their soldiers on hand.

Ian W. Thompson, Lindsay.

different ball game

Walter Ball’s memories of the Open Championships (Letters, July 13) show how times have changed.

Seddik, a former Scottish professional champion, flew from Glasgow to East Lothian to try to qualify for the Open Championship at Muirfield. My friend had putters and a lodging bag, and my friend’s trip was by tram, train and bus. Upon arrival, a practice round was arranged with fellow Scottish pro Jamie Adams, known for his long swing.

Moments later the great Henry Cotton called my friend, whose offer of a training tour had to be politely declined.

Memories are the ups and downs of life.

David Miller, Milingavi.

• As a nominee for a “golfer in desperate need,” with my share of missing players, I have thought many times about the colorful and beloved Doug Sanders (died in 2020 at age 86), with his 20-round victory counted by many to be” Best golfer who has never won a major,” who missed a 30-inch shot at 18 at St Andrews to win the 1970 Open, and his legendary streak years later: “Have you ever thought about it? Not right. Sometimes I go five whole minutes without thinking about it.” command.”

They don’t make them like that anymore.

R Russell Smith, Largs.

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