There’s also an 80-tonne capacity feed barge which stores fish feed, feeding equipment and an incinerator, along with office and welfare facilities for the farm team.

Now, we propose to expand the current farm to 14x100m salmon pens within a 75m mooring grid with a new 300-tonne capacity feed barge.

Find out more below:

The proposed expansion from the farm’s current arrangement of 9x80m circumference salmon pens within a 50m mooring grid to 14x100m salmon pens within a 75m mooring grid equates to an increase in pen area of 6,723m2.

That’s the equivalent of two thirds the surface area of Ganavan shinty pitch and would enable our Dunstaffnage farm team to grow more salmon up to a maximum biomass (the maximum weight of fish that can be stocked across the whole farm at any one time) of 2,350 tonnes.

A SEPA CAR Licence for this proposed expansion was approved on 17 March 2020; a copy of which can be downloaded below, along with our Dunstaffnage farm expansion overview.

Alternatively, all documents submitted in support of the planning application for this proposal can be viewed on Argyll and Bute Council’s Planning Portal (Planning reference 20/02358/MFF).

Prior to submitting our proposal to expand our existing Dunstaffnage salmon farm, we prepared a full and detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report which considers and assesses the environmental effects of the expansion.

You can download a copy of this EIA report below or view it via the Argyll and Bute Council Planning Portal (Planning reference 20/02358/MFF).

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process which identifies the environmental effects (both negative and positive) of development proposals, and aims to avoid, reduce and offset any adverse impacts.

  • Whether or not an EIA is necessary rests with the relevant planning authority and is determined via a process known as ‘EIA screening’. In this instance, Argyll and Bute Council determined that an EIA wouldbe required
  • The EIA process itself involves assessing any potentially significant environmental impacts or effects identified at the screening and scoping stage by key stakeholders such as NatureScot, SEPA, Marine Scotland and the local district salmon fishery board
  • The anticipated effects of any impacts are then described within the EIA report, along with any monitoring or mitigation required.

More information on the EIA process is available on the Scottish Government website.

Photo courtesy of David Duffy


  • Our Dunstaffnage farm has operated in its current location since 1987
  • The proposed expansion is at the north end of the farm, meaning that the salmon pens would remain the same distance from Ganavan public beach as they are currently (approximately 1200m from the near-side of the pens to the mid-point of the beach)


  • The farm team has achieved a 92% average fish survival rate over the last three crops (circa six years)
  • The farm has a SEPA CAS rating of ‘Excellent’, maintained over multiple crops
  • Medicinal bath treatments to control sea lice haven’t been used since 2011
  • Acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) have been switched off in recent years with the arrival of new predator netting and Scottish Sea Farms does not propose to reintroduce ADDs at the farm

Looking ahead

  • SEPA, as the expert regulatory authority, have carefully considered the environmental impact of the proposed farm expansion in terms of veterinary medicine use and discharge of waste and identified no issues. As such, they have granted the proposed expansion a CAR licence – a copy of which can be viewed below.

Blessed with an expanse of coastline, Argyll and Bute is home to the farms of several different salmon growers; each one creating direct jobs, supporting additional livelihoods across the supply chain and boosting local income. 

In terms of Scottish Sea Farms alone, our activities across the Argyll and Bute region add up to:

  • 196 direct jobs
  • £7.8M salary costs paid in 2020
  • £39,884 average earnings including overtime and bonus payments
  • 11 Modern Apprentices currently being undertaken
  • £8.5M spent procuring goods and services from local suppliers
  • £486K given to good causes since 2011; £371K of which went to Oban, Lorn & Isles causes
  • 138 local good causes supported; 90 of these based in Oban, Lorn & Isles.
Figures correct as of 10 03 2020.

If you have a question related to our development proposals that’s not addressed here, you can use the ‘Find out more’ page.

Alternatively, you can email Scottish Sea Farms’ Environment team directly at

(Please note that any comments provided to us online or via email won’t be considered by Argyll and Bute Council unless you also submit those comments directly to them.)