A map of Cooke's Orkney sites included in a report on the benefits of salmon farming. Papa Westray is unlabelled but it just above Westray.

Cooke consulting with public over Orkney salmon farm plans


Salmon farmer Cooke Aquaculture Scotland will hold public consultation events in the north and south of Orkney this week to discuss its plans in the archipelago.

The first event will take place this evening, from 6pm until 8pm at the North Walls Centre, Hoy, an island in the southwest of Orkney.

Cooke is holding the meeting as part of its pre-application process for a proposed new fish farm at Green Head, Scapa Flow, off the eastern shore of Hoy.

Members of Cooke’s environmental team will be at the event to provide information and answer questions about the proposed farm.

Cooke already has several farms in the western half of Scapa Flow. These are Chalmers Hope, West Fara, Lyrawa Bay, Pegal Bay, and Cava South.

Drop-in events

On Wednesday, Cooke will hold an informal drop-in event at St Ann’s Kirk, Papa Westray in north Orkney, and on Thursday it will host a drop-in event at the Junior High School Community Room on the neighbouring island of Westray.

Both events take place between 6pm and 8pm.

Cooke said in a post on its Facebook site that it is considering the future direction and long-term strategy of its existing fish farm operations around Westray and Papa Westray, and that information will be on display at the events.

Seeking feedback

“We are seeking feedback from the local communities in Westray and Papa Westray at this early stage to inform our long term plans,” wrote Cooke, which will once again have members of its environmental team on hand to answer questions and collect feedback.

Last year Cooke won permission for a 3,850-tonne salmon farm at an exposed site 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) off the coast of Papa Westray. The project prompted 102 individual letters of objection, although only 82 were classed as “valid” because many were multiple objections from individual addresses. Under the definition of a Valid Representation, multiple letters from a single postal address are regarded as a single representation.

The objections were a mix of those from local people, from people living in other areas of the UK, such as the Midlands, London, and Brighton, and from abroad.