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Letters / Fishing communities threatened by offshore wind farm proposals

Over thousands of years various groups of invaders have enslaved, ruled and oppressed Shetland communities.

Evidence of various occupations stand all around Shetland to this day, now often viewed as visitor attractions.

One of the most prominent of those being the Scalloway castle built under the oppression of Earl Patrick Stewart, who was tried, convicted and was eventually beheaded for the crimes he had committed during his tyrannical rule.

Rulers in Edinburgh were also responsible for the Highland clearances that saw the land people had worked for hundreds of years being taken from them to be used instead for grazing sheep.

Now Scotland’s fishing communities are facing the same type of dictatorial decisions being imposed on them from Edinburgh.

It is ironic that at a time when the Westminster government are in dispute with the EU about taking back control of the fishing grounds Edward Heath gave away, our Scottish Government are preparing to sign away enormous areas of seabed to wind farm developers.

Over 750 square kilometres of fishing grounds on the East side of Shetland being some of the best in Europe, is proposed to be sold off to the highest bidder with the approval of our own Shetland Islands Council.

We can all see the environmental devastation presently being waged by wind farm developers across the Shetland hillsides resulting from a previous financial deal, the apparently top secret ‘Busta House agreement’.

This, we are told, is being done in the name of preserving the planet, however selling off the seabed appears to look like it is more about making money.

If this proposal goes ahead, the damage that will be done to the seabed, the fishing communities, and the economy of Shetland will be irreparable.

Fishing communities from Scotland and beyond also depend on these prolific fishing grounds for their livelihoods.

It may be too late to stop the Viking Energy wind farm but the destruction of our fishing grounds with offshore wind farm developments should be strenuously opposed and halted if at all possible.

Scotland’s fishing grounds should never be used as a commodity to be sold off for short-term financial gain for the SIC and the SNP government.

The fishing grounds should be prized like a national treasure, to allow the present and future generations working in the fishing industry, to continue to provide a sustainable source of nourishment to people in nations all around the world.

William Polson
Whalsay