Fish farm rejected after workers warned they could be lured to deaths by fairies

A proposal for a fish farm in Scotland has been rejected after campaigners warned the fisherman they could be lured to their deaths by fairies who live in the ocean.

Ancient Scottish folklore was cited as the reason for planners to turn down the application to build a 12-cage salmon farm off the coast of the Isle of Skye.

An objection letter was sent to the Highland Council planners by a group called Friends of the Eilean Fhlodaigearraidh Faeries which signed the letter "on behalf of the Flodigarry Fairies".

They raised concerns about the fate of the mystical "ashrai" – a sea fairy similar to a mermaid – which it was claimed have lived off the coast of Skye for 1,000 years.

Once a century, the mystical creatures are said to be drawn to the surface of the water to bathe in moonlight.

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But campaigners claim the sea fairies "fear for their lives" and that the cages would draw the them to the surface of the sea, causing them to melt.

And a warning was issued that workers' lives could be put at risk by the creatures, who could "lure them with promises of gold and jewels into the deepest part of the ocean".

The letter said: "Ashrai live for hundreds of years and will come up to the surface of the water once each century to bathe in the moonlight which they use to help them grow.

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"It is proven that the steel of the fish farm cages draws many Ashrai to the surface, with only one result: they melt."

The letter also claimed seals living on the island are actually roanes – water elementals or mermen who take the form of seals.

Famous "magical misty" Skye landmarks were also mentioned, including its Fairy Pools, Dunvegan Castle's Fairy Flag and the Fairy Bridge.

And it was warned that water spirits – called the "Blue Men of the Minch" – and water birds called "broobries" may also be in danger.

The Scottish Fishermen Federation, other industry lobby groups and residents raised concerns about the impact on Skye’s tourist industry.

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After a six-hour long meeting the proposals were rejected.

A joint objection from the Scottish Fishermen Federation, Scottish White Fish Producers Association and the Mallaig and North West Fishermen's Association said the worry remains for the "safety" of local fishermen.

Concerns were raised about chemicals used in the salmon farming industry.

Scottish National Heritage said that the farm would have an impact on the coast nearby but it was for the council to decide whether any environmental effect would impact on local policies.

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