A PETITION has been launched in a bid to block a fish farm from coming to Wee Cumbrae.
The UK’s largest producer of farmed trout has unveiled plans to create 12 local jobs on the Clyde at sites next to Great and Little Cumbrae.
Dawnfresh, which already employs over 500 people across Scotland, has submitted 'scoping reports' as the first steps in the planning process.
The Scottish-owned company says it plans to invest £4 million in each of the sites - off the coast of the south eastern side of Great Cumbrae, opposite the Hunterston deepwater port, and on the north west side of Little Cumbrae.
But the proposal has sparked concern from local residents, who are gathering signatures against it.
Petition organiser Connor MacLennan said: "The Firth of Clyde is home to populations of porpoises, seals and occasionally there are pods of dolphins and orcas that hunt far up into the Firth in the warmer months. 
"The Firth of Clyde is also one of the last thriving ecosystems for migratory salmonids in the west of Scotland, however it is already in decline like everywhere else.
"Fish farms are a great danger to sea mammals as they are often caught up in pen nets or shot due to their predatory nature. Furthermore the excess feed and the fish faeces from the pens falls to the sea bed and these areas become a dead zone with great impact on reef, shellfish and inhabitants on the sea bed.
"Angling and sea mammal sight seeing provides a permanent economy and a way of life for tens of thousands of people in the area. These two large, environmentally unfriendly fish farms will provide only 12 permanent jobs.
"I would hope the people of Largs and Great Cumbrae will stand with me and the rest of the Firth of Clyde in saying no to fish farming."
The matter was discussed at the recent Fairlie Community Council meeting.
Local environmentalist David Nairn, who runs the Clyde Mammal Marine Group, said it was his understanding that Scottish Natural Heritage had concerns regarding the project.
He said: "Apart from issues around benthic pollution, sea lice, and release of chemical to environment I am deeply concerned about the intended use of acoustic deterrent devices and shooting seals as a marine mammal mitigation strategy."
Independent councillor Ian Murdoch said: "I have concerns with these fish farms being so close to tourism areas, especially with the announcement of the recent tourism marine strategy for the Clyde."
But Conservative councillor Tom Marshall, head of North Ayrshire planning, says people should not rush to judgement over the matter.
He said: "Don't be so critical - let the council come up with an opinion. 
"They have already been to Argyll and Bute to visit similar fish farms up in that area. 
"This is only a scoping report - and if it gets to a planning application stage then you have the opportunity to object."

See the petition here