New Orkney salmon farm approval confirms aquaculture is planned sustainably


Kirkwall, Scotland, UK – September 8, 2022 – Cooke Aquaculture Scotland Ltd. welcomes the Orkney Islands Council Planning Committee’s decision today approving the creation of a six cage salmon farming site located offshore of East Moclett, Papa Westray, in the North Sound.

“We appreciate that the Planning Committee was guided by and accepted the thorough technical and scientific reviews of all the statutory consultation bodies which filed no objections,” said Joel Richardson, Vice President of Public Relations for Cooke Aquaculture Scotland. “Farm-raised Scottish salmon has one of the lowest carbon footprints of all animal proteins, and Cooke Aquaculture Scotland is committed to science-led research to set the highest standards for responsible harvesting and sustainable processes across all aspects of our business.”

The statutory consultation bodies are:

  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Marine Scotland (on behalf of Scottish Ministers)
  • Scottish Water
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage)
  • Papa Westray Community Council

The Planning Committee accepted that the proposed salmon farm was rigorously assessed by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) which raised no issues or objections to the site.

“We have heard very valid points raised by the Papa Westray Community Council and Papa Westray residents and we will continue dialogue with them and ensure that this new farm site is compliant with all appropriate regulations and best practices. As one of the largest employers in Orkney and Northern Isles, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland will maximize economic and social benefits,” stated Richardson.

The fish farm was also assessed against all relevant policies of the Orkney Local Development Plan and other relevant material planning considerations. The Orkney Islands Council agreed with their planning staff, who concluded that on balance the objections raised by various parties were not of sufficient weight to merit refusal.

“It is important to note that while various campaigners promote false information about the UK’s number one food export, farm-raised Scottish salmon, it is clear with this approval that they are misleading the public in an attempt to further their own agendas,” added Richardson. “Make no mistake that skilled, well-paying jobs for Orkney people and their families is far more important to keep remote communities viable. No farmers – no food.”

Cooke plans to start hiring and training six new local employees to service the East Moclett site out of the company’s Westray shorebase in 2023.


Joel Richardson
Vice President, Public Relations
Cooke Inc. / for Cooke Aquaculture Scotland Ltd.
40 Wellington Row, Saint John, N.B. E2L 3H3
M: +1-506-721-1093 / T: +1-506-694-4938