15th October

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

Mussel crisis in the southwest threatens viability of premium product

A severe crisis is threatening the mussel production sector from Castlemaine to Dunmanus Bay as a result of highly unusual algal blooms this winter, according to the Irish Shellfish Association.

“Some bays have been forced to close down for five consecutive months, and farmers have had to watch their crops wash away during the winter storms instead of fetching premiums in top supermarkets and restaurants,” explained Richie Flynn, aquaculture executive of the Irish Farmers' Association.

Muskerry Seafood Killmacki

“By closing their harvesting operations, the mussel farmers ensured that consumer and food safety comes first but unfortunately they have no control over the length of time these natural blooms can persist in the ocean," he added.

A statement to Inshore Ireland from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine noted that a new Seafood Development Programme was being finalised under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund up to 2020 and that a draft "will be published later in March" with a view to submitting the new Programme to the European Commission by May for its consideration and adoption.

It is likely to be towards the end of 2015 before the Commission adopts the Programme.

Inshore Ireland uncovers SUMBAWS through FOI

Inshore Ireland masthead In October 2014, Inshore Ireland requested a copy of the ten-year-old SUMBAWS (Sustainable management of interactions between aquaculture and wild salmonid fish) report from two of its contributors: Inland Fisheries Ireland, and a month later from the Economic and Social Research Institute, ERSI. To date, neither agency has provided a copy.

A pursuant Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) also failed to recover a copy. Following an FOI to another State Agency, Inshore Ireland has now received a copy among the documents released to it on March 6.

Read more: Inshore Ireland uncovers SUMBAWS through FOI

Marine Harvest Ireland obtains global environmental standard

Marine Harvest Ireland - the first salmon farm worldwide to achieve organic certification - has been awarded the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard for salmon, acknowledged as one of the highest international environmental and social sustainability standards for fish farming. 

The standard was obtained for a site at Deenish Island in Ballinskelligs Bay, Co Kerry.

MHI Deenish

According to MHI managing director Jan Feenstra, the standard is an endorsement of the company brand and the high standards they consistently aspire to and succeed in reaching.

"This particular accreditation was initiated by the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF),  recognised globally as a benchmark in building a future where human needs are met in harmony with nature."

Read more: Marine Harvest Ireland obtains global environmental standard

Winter algal blooms threaten south-west shellfish sector

A severe crisis is threatening the mussel production sector from Castlemaine to Dunmanus Bay as a result of highly unusual algal blooms this winter, according to the Irish Shellfish Association.

“Some bays have been forced to close down for five consecutive months, and farmers have had to watch their crops wash away during the winter storms instead of fetching premiums in top supermarkets and restaurants,” explained Richie Flynn, aquaculture excecutive of the Irish Farmers' Association. 

shellfish 2015 edited-2                   

                  DSP situation July 2014                                     DSP situation October 2014

“By closing their harvesting operations, the mussel farmers ensured that consumer and food safety comes first but unfortunately they have no control over the length of time these natural blooms can persist in the ocean," he added.

Read more: Winter algal blooms threaten south-west shellfish sector

Spread the News

Accelerator programme for Ireland's aquaculture industry
Four-wheel remote aquaculture classroom
Shellfish producers slam level of sewage discharge
Sea trout collapse: a complicated issue