STRUAN Stevenson’s biased article on Scottish salmon farming ("Misguided critics undermine importance of fish farming", The Herald, May 9) cannot go unchallenged. He omits to mention that the two biggest farming concerns in Scotland are Danish (previously Ukrainian) and Norwegian. They have their businesses here because they are no longer allowed to operate open cages in their own countries, where the industry has moved to closed-containment facilities which are based on-shore.

No one would dispute that salmon farming is an excellent method of producing a highly nutritious food source, but the Scottish Government’s ignoring of the conditions in which salmon currently live in pens is a disgrace. There is plenty of photographic evidence to prove overcrowding and disease within the pens, and of the wasteland of faecal material, uneaten food and chemicals underneath which are destroying the sea-beds.

The “maximum hygiene and welfare” which Mr Stevenson quotes may well apply to the factories where the dead fish are processed, but it does not apply to the feed-lots. Nor does the word “clean”.

The way forward is for the Government to insist on onshore, closed containment facilities and to allow our sea lochs to recover. Salmon can live perfectly happily in fresh water. This might dent profits in the short-term, but the benefits in the longer term would be well worth it. I might even go back to buying salmon, which I have not done for the last three years.

John N E Rankin, Bridge of Allan.

Subtitle woes

CONGRATULATIONS to Janis McDonald for her comprehensive Agenda column on the way Covid-19 increases isolation for deaf people ("Covid-19 increases isolation for deaf people", The Herald, May 11).

Could I add that even TV with captions is not too helpful either. Many of the necessary subtitles provided on the BBC news and weather are little more than random strings of words. Little help there.

Helen McCall, Lanark.

Safety last

THE main photograph in the Those were the days feature ("Throwing light on Cathedral’s Stygian gloom", The Herald, May 11) made me laugh.

In the picture we see a man on a ladder. The ladder appears to be supported on a scaffold plank, which itself is standing on a trestle, with no sign of securing ropes, safety harness, or any other kind of safety equipment. To his right stands a bareheaded man, immediately above him is someone holding a mallet and chisel. If the chiseller had dropped his mallet onto the head of the bareheaded man he would almost certainly have fallen onto the trestle, which would have caused the ladder and the man on it to collapse.

Is there any information on casualties from this encounter? Elf and safety ...who needs it?

John Jamieson, Ayr.

A rough guide to golf

ROB Campbell’s cris de coeur (Letters, May 11) to allow the playing of golf in these troubled times would I think stand a chance of success if one of his “strictly controlled conditions “ was that play was limited to only those currently with a low (10 or less) handicap.

I write with authority as an erstwhile golfer who never achieved such a low handicap and consequently spent far too much time in the rough searching for my ball, testing the patience of my golfing companions who usually felt obliged to help me try to find it. Social distancing of six feet apart would make such assistance useless resulting in a dismal, fractious, lengthy and expensive round for anyone with a wayward swing. Also, I fear that the players ahead would be unable to hear a shout of “Fore" if delivered through a mask, with potentially damaging consequences.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.