When visitors conjure up images of Scotland the chances are that golden
eagles, grouse (especially if it’s on a whisky bottle), the majestic
Scottish countryside and Atlantic salmon will feature prominently.
Tourists visiting Scotland in their droves certainly do not come to see
ugly wind farms blotting the landscape or salmon farms littering the
The expansion of wind farms across the Scottish countryside threatens not
only Scotland’s booming tourist industry but also Scotland’s wildlife.
Coupled with the policy of Scottish ministers to increase salmon farming
production by 50% by 2020 (in other words, 30-40 new salmon farms),
Scotland will soon be blighted by wind and salmon farms.
Wild birds and wild salmon do not like to be caged. Wind turbines create
dead zones for birds. In the sea, salmon farms that use toxic chemicals
that are lethal to lobsters have created no-fishing zones.
Locating wind and salmon farms on migration routes is draining Scotland’s
energy and natural resources. Birds and wild salmon are caught up in the
blades and nets.
If one takes the time to understand the migration patterns of wild fish and
birds it would not take long to see that their survival depends on being in
sync with the natural flow of their environment.
That is exactly why migrating birds naturally seek out migratory paths with
optimum wind patterns and why wild salmon have always migrated along waters
with optimum currents to help them on their otherwise impossible journeys.
It does not bode well for wild salmon or migratory birds that, for farms to
function economically, the use of the same wind and water currents that
have long been the migratory paths of wild birds and fish need to be
utilised. With the migratory paths of birds being invaded by gigantic
rotating blades of wind turbines and the migratory paths of wild salmon at
risk of sea lice it does not take long to figure out who is on the losing
side of this equation.
Amid all the hoopla about the economy and jobs, the question of why we
should be equally concerned about the survival of wild species seems to
have slipped off the radar. Consider the canary in the coal mine: miners
looked to the birds as a sign that their own lives were at risk. Wild
species have long shown humans important lessons about nature that we would
otherwise never know. Put simply; we need them to survive.
Eider ducks and herons have drowned in salmon farm cages in Shetland and
Orkney while hundreds of birds die each year after flying into wind farm
Under the SNP Government’s vision of an independent Scotland, including
Norwegian salmon farming companies exporting farmed salmon to feed China
and foreign-owned energy companies supplying the international grid, the
canary in the cage will be as dead as a dodo.
In the United States, President Barack Obama’s push for wind energy is
causing great collatoral daamage.
According to a report last month, American Bird Conservancy has expressed
grave concern about the possibility of the golden eagle ending up on the
endangered species list because so many are being killed by wind turbines.
The continued expansion of wind and salmon farms in Scotland will leave a
lasting and lethal legacy.
Is that what the people of Scotland and visitors to this country really want?
For the sake of Scotland’s world-renowned wildlife and beautiful landscape
we must stand up to the expansion of wind and salmon farms.