Biologist/Ecologist (incl. marine) & SST-T webmaster
Trustee Skye & Lochalsh Environment Forum
I am a very reluctant campaigner: actually quite cross that I have to do it at all, obliged to be involved in this initiative by an instinct to apply my scientific knowledge and critical skills to protecting the marine environment from the detrimental impacts of exploitative profiteering by a filthy industry - net-cage salmon farming - run mostly by Norwegian corporations. Had you realised that 'Scottish salmon' is Scottish only by farm location and sometimes (read supermarket 'Scottish salmon' packaging) not Scottish at all?
I would much rather spend my time and money learning, teaching and writing about the subject which has fascinated me since the age of five: field biology/ecology (or making music).
I list my credentials below, but probably the most important consideration should be vested interests, which are none, other than my passion for biology, in particular the seashore, which is always adjacent to and inevitably influenced by salmon farms and in our part of Scotland (Skye & Lochalsh) of exceptional ecological quality.
Qualifications: M.Phil, D.Phil1 (York), Biology (experimental field ecology). Qualified, trained and experienced research scientist (retired).
Vested Interests: With regard to aquaculture, none. Therefore, my conclusions and opinions are not constrained by the need to protect employment prospects or income. Also, I'm under no obligation to adjust my opinions to match the government’s political aspirations or employer’s instructions. Therefore, I'm able to reach objective, properly informed conclusions and provide authoritative, unbiased advice.
Approach: Objective interpretation of evidence (facts-only) accompanied by the willingness to make a change of mind when the facts (or conclusions they generate) change.
Experience: forty years writing about and teaching a wide range of biological topics (including marine ecology - e.g. thirty annual University of York Millport courses between 1976 and 2009).
Relevant Publications: author of HOLES – Scotland’s Salmon Sewage Scandal and The Highland Council’s User-Friendly Seashore Guide (Blue-Skye Books, also Amazon) and Highland Seashore Guide. [Other publications]
Also: Author of this website, a substantial, evidential, non-hysterical consideration of net-cage fish farming. I have analysed five fish farm planning applications in detail (n.b. having actually examined the documents), thereafter alerting the Highland Council’s planning department in public consultations to alarming deficiencies in the aquaculture industry’s assessments of environmental impact.
1 Oxbridge & York equivalent of MSc, PhD. [The value of a PhD lies, not in having it on your CV, but what you do with the training that went into getting it the use you put that to thereafter.]