I WAS delighted to see that John Rankin (Letters, May 12) took such an interest in Struan Stevenson’s excellent piece on salmon farming ("Misguided critics undermine importance of fish farming", The Herald, May 11).

Unfortunately, Mr Rankin’s subsequent criticism of the salmon farming sector did not stand up to scrutiny simply because it was not based on fact.

Mr Rankin claimed that Norwegian companies farm in Scottish waters because they can no longer do so in the seas off Norway. This is just wrong. Norway is the largest producer of farmed salmon in the world, almost all of it produced in the sea with many more sea farms likely.

Mr Rankin says he wants Scotland to move to onshore closed containment, claiming salmon can live quite happily in fresh water – this ignores the smoltification process, the transformation of juvenile, freshwater fish into seagoing salmon in a marine environment. We farm salmon as close to their natural life as possible and that therefore requires both a freshwater and a marine phase.

Our sector already uses onshore closed containment for the early, freshwater phase with salmon then moved out their natural environment in the sea.

Yet Mr Rankin wants the Scottish farmed salmon sector to switch from a current, low-water use, low-carbon footprint, low-energy model to a high-energy, high carbon footprint, high-water use model which has not proved to be commercially viable over the long term anywhere in the world.

Mr Stevenson was right: our salmon farms provide jobs and quality food, whilst also supporting the rural Scottish economy and they deserve our support, not criticism.

Hamish Macdonell, Director of Strategic Engagement, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Edinburgh.

Subtitling is a boon

THE Agenda column regarding Covid-19 and increasing problems for deaf people ("Covid-19 increases isolation for deaf people", The Herald, May 11) was, as Helen McCall (Letters, May 12) states, comprehensive in detail for those such as myself so afflicted, but I cannot agree with her that TV subtitles are not too helpful.

For me, and doubtless countless others, viewing TV without the benefit of subtitling could be regarded as of little or no consequence apart from gazing at silent imagery.

It has its quirks and failings from time to time but also has its moments of unintentional hilarity in misspellings.

May I, and on behalf of other users, give thanks for its creation.

John Macnab, Falkirk.

Grappling with the facts

JUST for the record: during the 1986 Commonwealth Games ("1986: Edinburgh and the Unfriendly Games", The Herald, May 12), teammate Albert Patrick, who was the flag bearer was not a weightlifter but, like myself, was a member of the wrestling team. Seems like yesterday.

Tam Anderson, Helensburgh.

Press-gang the walkers

ANENT Alan Fitzpatrick's submission (Letters, May 12), I would suggest a greater irritant to golfing's elite would be the new breed of exercise walkers who parade daily over the fairways. Some may be club members but others not in this newly discovered form of social outing.

Albeit not personally indulging, I am reliably told persons trudge for miles over currently deserted courses. Doubtless anxious greens staff and equally concerned committee members will be monitoring this state of play. Perhaps innovation will break out. To misquote the old adage, "if you cannot stop them, join them" with a club membership form at the ready. Beware and be warned.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

READING Rob Campbell’s letter (May 11) brought to mind what Confucius had said “Golfers who hit the ball straight will walk alone”.

The two-metre rule is readily obeyed if accomplished golfers are paired with those of average ability.

Please release the golfers by cutting the links of their Covid chains.

Iain MacInnes, Glasgow.