15th October

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

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.

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