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February 11, 2020

Fairies at Flodigarry

Perhaps because 2020 is the Year of Coasts and Waters, the media seems full of stories of coastal communities fighting back against the appropriation of their coastal waters by the fish farm industry. Most recent of which was the tiny community of Flodigarry in the north east of Skye. In support of the formal objections from the entire community, further evidence was submitted from some unlikely sources – the local fairy population, mermen (who apparently can look like seals) and the local broobries, all of which could be endangered. Needless to say, planning wasn’t approved.

Jane Bradley , The Scotsman

A group of fairies have lodged a formal objection to a proposed fish farm on the Isle of Skye.

The Flodigarry Fairies have told Highland Council that they are concerned that the planned Organic Sea Harvest salmon farm at Flodigarry could be detrimental to their community, claiming that the steel cages that are used will “harm all species of Fairies in a life-threatening way”.

The objection, lodged with the council’s planning committee, explains that the Ashrai fairies which live in seas directly surrounding the Flodigarry Isles are in “fear for their lives” if the projects goes ahead.

It says: “Ashrai live for hundreds of years and will come up to the surface of the water once each century to bathe in the moonlight which they use to help them grow. It is proven that the steel of the fish farm cages draws many Ashrai to the surface, with only one result: They melt.”

It also warns that male fishermen working on the farm may be in danger as the fairies “will attempt to lure him with promises of gold and jewels into the deepest part of the ocean to drown or simply to trick him.”

The document, signed “on behalf of the Flodigarry Fairies” by the “Friends of the Eilean Fhlòdaigearraidh Faeries”, adds that what appear to be seals living on the island are actually roanes – water elementals or mermen who take the form of seals – which could be in danger of being shot by salmon farmers. Meanwhile, gnomes and water birds called broobries may also be in danger.

It also threatens that water spirits known as the Blue Men of the Minch could cause adverse weather conditions for fish farmers.

It says: “They have told they will protect their gentler Flodigarry neighbours against any fish farm as they were there already in the beginning of time and they have always done so. The Blue Men of the Minch have predicted that there could be some severe stormy weather in the future but declined to explain further at this stage.”

Finally, the objection focuses on the fact that the farm would block “two fairy paths” underwater and objects to the fact that the fairies have not been consulted on the issue.

The application, lodged in July, states that it is for a “new Marine Fish Farm for Atlantic Salmon consisting of 12 x 120m circumference circular cages in an 80m mooring grid with associated feed barge”. The project is the third for Organic Sea Harvest, which has been given the go-ahead for two other fish farms on Skye.

Other organisations which have objected to the site include glamping business Flodigarry Pods and Dun Flodigarry Hostel, as well as local residents.

Residents of a Skye township shed tears of emotion in Highland Council chamber yesterday as they defended their coastline against a proposed fish farm- and tears of joy when councillors finally refused to grant the development.

During a hearing and debate lasting six hours, applicant Organic Sea Harvest (OSH) presented their proposals for a farm of 12 400ft cages to grow Atlantic salmon organically just off the eastern coast of the Trotternich pensinsula at Flodigarry in north-east Skye.

Flodigarry has a population of 57 – who are understood to have unanimously opposed the development.

Nearly half the population made it to the hearing, fronted by spokeswoman Emma Beaton, and hotelier Bette Temming.

The objectors applauded when Ms Beaton and Mrs Temming finished their presentations passionately arguing against the fish farm and for the preservation of their pristine coastline.