17th July

Fish-farm application withdrawal could herald new era for wild salmon

Noel Carr, FISSTA

Carr

As our politicians lay out their stall for General Election of 2016, we must welcome the December 21 BIM press announcement it was withdrawing the application for a 15,000 tonnes open-sea system of over seventy-five net cages.

As FISSTA was the first to mobilise opposition to the plan in 2011, we take comfort from our ability to conduct another successful campaign, against the odds.

Success has many fathers but we are satisfied the body of opposition built up from the Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages marches of 2013, coupled with the legal notice served on Government last April ‘to immediately cease all considerations and actions to aprove the Galway Bay application’ was the final straw of objection that prompted the rethink.

Read more: Fish-farm application withdrawal could herald new era for wild salmon

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BIM has withdrawn its licence application for a salmon farm in Galway Bay because the proposed production capacity exceeds the maximum annual harvest for individual farms as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

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