18th December

Open net salmon farming: 'battle won but war continues'

BIM has withdrawn its licence application for a salmon farm in Galway Bay because the proposed production capacity exceeds the maximum annual harvest for individual farms as recommended in the government’s new strategic plan for sustainable aquaculture. 

BIM application1

 INFOMAR data of Galway Bay

The seafood development agency’s chief executive, Tara McCarthy, said her board had taken “swift and decisive action” on December 21 to match the agency’s activities to the new Plan.

She added they would now “re-assess delivery of this project in the context of the new operating environment and examine the operational and commercial impacts, which would take time and a significant amount of engagement and consultation”.

Read more: Open net salmon farming: 'battle won but war continues'

EU Commission letter regarding SUMBAWS report

The December-January issue of Inshore Ireland (Comment, page 3) refers to a letter from the European Commission to Dr Neil Hazon, co-ordinator of the SUMBAWS project.

The letter notes that SUMBAWS was accepted by the EU Commission as the ‘final report’.

Inshore Ireland stand by our belief that the version of the SUMBAWS report provided to us under FOI by the Marine Institute in March last year is the same version that passed between the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in July 2009.

This version of the SUMBAWS report was used by the Marine Institute to defend the Pilot Case taken against Ireland by an environmental NGO.

ÓCuív refuses to back call to boycott farmed salmon

Galway West TD, Éamon ÓCuív, has denied he supported a call by opponents of fish farming to boycott farmed salmon. An article headlined: TD wants farmed salmon boycott in the Connacht Tribune implied that Deputy ÓCuív supported the call to boycott farmed salmon this Christmas, and would opt instead for Irish wild fish.

OCuiv

 

Written by Dara Bradley, the article claimed that Ó Cuív had informed an Oireachtas Agriculture Food and Fisheries Committee hearing that he would ‘not touch salmon from farms because it is a totally unnatural product.

Read more: ÓCuív refuses to back call to boycott farmed salmon

Ireland's oyster industry curtailed by rigid licensing and regulation

Oysters contribute €58m to the rural economy and support 760 full-time jobs, according to a new report published by IFA Aquaculture. A further €6m and an additional 77 jobs could be produced with every 10% increase in production, says the author and leading agri-food economist, Professor Alan Renwick.

IFA oyster report

Oyster farm, Co Mayo

Jerry Gallagher, chair of the Irish Shellfish Association (a part of IFA) however said that challenges regarding regulation and licensing continue, particularly for application processing at new and renewed sites.

Read more: Ireland's oyster industry curtailed by rigid licensing and regulation

SUMBAWS outcome requires further investigation

SUMBAWS FINAL

The Ombudsman has ruled that the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) was justified in refusing Inshore Ireland access under FOI to a ten-year-old report, part-funded by the European Commission.

In December 2014, the DCENR refused Inshore Ireland’s FOI request for the SUMBAWS on the basis that ‘the Department is not in a position to provide the report requested’.

Read more: SUMBAWS outcome requires further investigation

'Commitment' to marine taxation review in Budget 2016 watered down to 'feasibility' asssessment

Addressing a major marine conference last July, Agriculture, Food & Marine Minister, Simon Coveney, said government had begun a process of "radical change" in its approach to marine policy, which would be reinforced by the "first ever review on taxation" to be reflected in the October budget.

Budget 2016 however is short on detail. Instead, Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed his officials "would be examining the proposals"...with a view to establishing "the feasibility of their [marine taxation supports] implementation in future Budgets".

seafood

€94m in national co-funding under Budget 2016 will suppport new schemes under the Seafood Development Programme to 2020

Welcoming the publication of the Indecon report on Budget day, Minister Coveney said he looked forward to discussions with Minister Noonan on implementating the recommendations "particularly in relation to the proposed extension of seafarers tax allowances to the fishing industry" and for "appropriate tax treatment to support the fishing vessel decommissioning scheme".

Read more: 'Commitment' to marine taxation review in Budget 2016 watered down to 'feasibility' asssessment

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