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More mussels off Burra

A Shetland aquaculture business has been given permission to modify a former salmon and halibut site to farm mussels despite objections from the local community council and number of householders.

East Voe Shellfish Ltd plans to grow mussels on four 200 metre long double-headrope longlines at Lang Sound, Burra.

But local fisherman and community councillor Billy Hughes told a hearing of Shetland Islands Council’s planning board on Wednesday that there were already too many aquaculture sites in the vicinity undermining the amenity of the area.

He added that developing the site for mussel farming would make navigation and access to Scalloway more difficult and would also infringe on the buckie fishing ground nearby.

He said: “There are too many sites here. In the past you could hear dunters and tirricks when working in the garden.

“Now all you hear are speedboats chasing the dunters away from the lines. That is not so lightsome.”

But the members of the planning board approved the application after hearing that the owner of the site Kenny Pottinger, of East Voe Shellfish, had a valid licence to put up to 14 finfish cages on site without even approaching the council’s marine services department.

The meeting also heard that Mr Pottinger had previously agreed to group the lines closer together thereby using less of the licensed area.



Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021