Letters to the editor – 3.12.20

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Fine A82 litter louts

Driving into Oban this morning, I commented again on the impressively clean streets. Each time I have been aware of this, I have also been aware of a hard working, yellow-coated council employee who obviously takes great pride in his work. I hope this workforce is aware of how much their daily task is appreciated.

In direct contrast to the litter-free streets of Oban, are the litter strewn verges of the A82. Driving home from an essential visit to Glasgow on Friday, I noticed not just the occasional plastic bottle, food wrapper, drinks can, but that there was absolutely no grassy area free of such litter between the Arden Roundabout and Tarbet.

I pulled into a layby near Luss for a picnic lunch. The layby is not visible from the A82 and had been used to dump a pile of old lorry tyres, carrier bags of old clothes in addition to more ‘normal’ litter.

The A82 is one of the most scenic routes. Argyll is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland and yet we allow this litter vandalism to blight our countryside.
Identifying those drivers and cyclists who discard their rubbish en route must be a challenge, however we do have littering laws. Lomond National Park do employ rangers. A few fines charged for littering would surely help a change of mindset.

Doreen Henderson , North Connel

Salmon farming hired gun

For years I have noticed that as night follows day, a letter critical of salmon farming is followed the very next week by a letter from Dr Martin Jaffa rebutting it. Who is he? Intrigued, I turned to Google and discovered that Dr Jaffa is a consultant working for the salmon farming industry – a hired gun. No wonder his correspondence is so persistent and so one-sided.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, his argument that escaped farmed salmon have no negative impact on the wild population is directly contrary to the science. As just one example, see the ICES Journal of Marine Science paper, The major threats to Atlantic salmon in Norway (2017), which concluded that, ‘escaped farmed Atlantic salmon is a direct threat to the genetic integrity of the wild populations; will likely reduce the number of returning adults over time; and was classified as the most serious threat to the wild populations.’ Dr Jaffa must know this.

Norway takes the protection of its wild salmon population much more seriously than Scotland, which is why so many of the big Scottish salmon farmers are owned by Norwegian entities – regulation is strict in Norway, so they come here to take advantage of the lax standards allowed by Holyrood and then use their hired guns to deny the ill-effects of what they are doing. Shame on them all.

Tom Adam, Onich.

Highland Hospice here to help

Here at Highland Hospice we know that Christmas can be especially hard for our patients and their families.

For many this will be their last Christmas and it is so important that they can spend it with the people that matter the most to them. For some families this will be their first Christmas without their loved one; bringing back feelings of loss as well as many happy memories. Thanks to your support, our amazing team are able to look after people as they navigate this difficult time – nurses in our inpatient unit, our Helping Hands befrienders will maintain contact with their new friends and reduce, as best they can, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and our Bereavement Support Team will be on hand to lend a listening ear for those struggling with the loss of someone special to them.

Across the Highlands your contributions will be helping our staff and volunteers make a real difference to individuals and families in need. Thank you, we are so grateful for this support.

Andrew Leaver, Head of Fundraising