18th December

Aquaculture and foreshore licences granted for Shot Head site

Marine Harvest Ireland (MHI) has welcomed the decision by Simon Conveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, to grant aquaculture and foreshore licences at Shot Head, Bantry Bay which it had applied for in June 2011.

The company plans a €3.5m investment in a new salmon farm that will create eight long-term jobs, post-construction. MHI currently operates a fish production site at Roancarrig on the western side of Bantry Bay.

MHI Shot Head

A visual impression of the proposed development looking south-west over the cliff above Mehil Head

By developing a second site for organic salmon, ongoing stock development, harvesting, fallowing and rotation programmes can be advanced in compliance with international best practice, according to the company.

Read more: Aquaculture and foreshore licences granted for Shot Head site

Irish public attitude to fish farming

IFA Aquaculture is seeking a meeting with Minister Simon Coveney to discuss the findings of a major survey of Irish public opinion on the aquaculture industry.

Undertaken by Behaviour & Attitudes, Ireland’s largest independent market research company, the 'barometer survey' was specially commissioned by IFA Aquaculture to assess ‘Public Attitudes and Information Sources on Irish Aquaculture’.

IFA Aquaculture Survey

Writing to Minister Coveney, IFA Executive, Richie Flynn, describes the B&A research as 'the largest single data gathering exercise undertaken in Ireland into the views and level of knowledge of the general public about fish farming'. He also claims the survey fulfills a range of functions including:

Read more: Irish public attitude to fish farming

Salmon farm accident: Ombudsman orders DAFM to release report

The Ombudsman has directed the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to release the information it holds relating to the loss of more than 200,000 juvenile farmed salmon at Gearhies in Bantry Bay, following a storm in February 2014.

Farmed salmon feeding near water surface

Farmed salmon swimming near the surface of the water

DAFM refused to provide the 'preliminary scientific and technical reports' of its investigation into the incident to Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) who first requested it in April 2014 under Access to Information on the Environment (AIE).

Read more: Salmon farm accident: Ombudsman orders DAFM to release report

Marine Harvest Ireland takes aquaculture excellence award

Marine Harvest Ireland scooped the 'Excellence in Aquaculture' title at the inaugural Maritime Industry Awards.

BIM Maritime Awards

The awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the most original and innovate individuals and companies in the Irish maritime and marine sectors.

Also shortlisted in this category were Dingle Bay Seaweed; Dungarvan Shellfish and Goatsbridge Trout Farm.

Proposal to cap single salmon farm biomass at 7,000 tonnes

A draft Plan to increase Irish aquaculture production by 45,000 tonnes across all species by 2023, recommends peak biomass for individual site licences of 5,000 tonnes ‘based on full assessment of environmental considerations, e.g. site characteristics, carrying capacity and separation distance from adjacent operations.’

SUMBAWS report

Single salmon-farm licence biomass will be capped at 7,000 tonnes if the proposed limit is accepted

Additional tonnage may be sought ‘subject to a total maximum of 7,000 tonnes (peak biomass)’ and other conditions.

Launching the public consultation (deadline July 24 see http://www.inshore-ireland.com/Notice-board/) on the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, said Ireland’s targeted production increase reflected growing seafood demand worldwide, projected to reach 85 million tonnes by 2022.

Read more: Proposal to cap single salmon farm biomass at 7,000 tonnes

Inshore Ireland denied salmon/sea lice report from government department

Inshore Ireland masthead

Almost five months after Inshore Ireland first requested a copy of a significant report on interactions between aquaculture and wild salmonid fish from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, it was eventually received under FOI - but from another agency.

Documents released by the Marine Institute in March include a copy of the SUMBAWS report. These documents also indicate that the report was in fact held by the DCENR, who passed it to another government department in August 2009.

Read more: Inshore Ireland denied salmon/sea lice report from government department

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