18th December

Bord Iascaigh Mhara plans second fish farm off west coast

Irish Times (2/05)

Bord Iascaigh Mhara is to seek licence approval for a second State-owned organic fish farm off the west coast.

The 5,000-tonne project earmarked for a location between Mayo’s Inishturk and Galway’s Inishbofin islands will be a third of the size of the farm planned for GalwayBay, for which BIM has reaffirmed its support – even as its chief executive, Jason Whooley, has announced his resignation.

Google-Earth 

Source: Google Earth

Mr Whooley, who has been with the sea fisheries development board since 2007, will leave BIM in late summer to head up the €35 million Norwegian-Irish bio-marine ingredients project planned for Killybegs, Co Donegal.

Mr Whooley’s resignation is believed to have come as a surprise last week, but the board said it was committed to the project at the mouth of Galway Bay and would continue to work on applying for licence approval for smaller aquaculture sites.

Read more: Bord Iascaigh Mhara plans second fish farm off west coast

Ireland's seaweed harvesters seek clarification on Novia Scotia deal

Údarás na Gaeltachta has sold its share-holding in the seaweed processor Arramara Teoranta to Acadia Seaplants of Nova Scotia in a government-approved deal brokered by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Confirming the sale, a spokeswoman for Údarás na Gaeltachta said that Acadia Seaplants’ involvement in the Irish seaweed sector would provide new opportunities to develop value-added seaweed-based products for a range of growing sectors worldwide.

“This in turn will lead to an increase in employment opportunities in the Gaeltacht and business will continue as usual at Arramara Teo, ” she added.

Seaweed

Meanwhile,at a public meeting this week in Ros a Mhíl to discuss the implications locally, MEP Marian Harkin questioned the part played by Údarás na Gaeltachta in the deal with Acadia. She said that concern was mounting among west coast seaweed harvesters that they had not been consulted or informed of the details of the sale.

Read more: Ireland's seaweed harvesters seek clarification on Novia Scotia deal

Ireland's oyster sector needs 'practical government support'

Delegates at a one-day conference on Ireland’s oyster industry were told of the “excellent opportunities” in EU and Far East markets in particular, for branded quality assured Irish oysters.

With technical, financial and business development assistance, “BIM aims to ensure that Irish growers are best placed to take advantage of the current favourable environment,” remarked Donal Maguire, Director of Aquaculture Development.

2014 Irish industry oyster workshop

Patrick Dwyer, Ballyhack, Co Wexford; Pat Movan, Cheekpoint, Co  Wexford; Seamus Hayes, Dungarvan, Co Waterford and Brian O’Loan, BIM

L to R: William Dwyer, Ballyhack, Co Wexford; Paudie Coffey, TD; Jim Harty, Dungarvan Shellfish and Tadhg O Maoileoin, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. 

Opening the event organised by BIM and IFA Aquaculture, Paudie Coffey, T.D highlighted the importance of this sector to the economy:

“Ireland produces premium quality oysters that demand a high price on our key overseas markets, particularly France and the Far East. This achievement is testament to the hard work of our oyster producers … who have worked hard to achieve a high level of quality assurance with assistance from BIM.

Read more: Ireland's oyster sector needs 'practical government support'

Excessive bureaucracy blocking marine jobs and exports

IFA president, Eddie Downey, says jobs and export targets in peripheral coastal ares cannot be met without "radical streamlining and reprioritisation of the bureaucratic bottlenecks stalling the industry".

In a report published March 17, Removing Barriers to Irish Aquaculture Development, the Irish Farmers' Association icalls on government to actively support the Food Harvest 2020 aims to increase aquaculture output, 'starting with a reduction in the number of competiting agencies and officials holding back the sector.'

Richie Flynn; IFA Aquaculture; Eddie Downey, IFA President, Jerry Gallagher, IFA Aquaculture Chairman and Jan Feenstra, Irish Salmon Growners' Association

Richie Flynn; IFA Aquaculture; Eddie Downey, IFA President, Jerry Gallagher, IFA Aquaculture Chairman and Jan Feenstra, Irish Salmon Growners' Association

Read more: Excessive bureaucracy blocking marine jobs and exports

Marine Institute stands over quality and accuracy of its research

Statement by Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO, Marine Institute:

I welcome the acknowledgement by the 'Journal of Fish Diseases' for their error in publishing as a ‘Short Communication’ the piece by Krkosek et al. claiming ‘fundamental errors’ in Marine Institute science.  

I further welcome the apology by the Journal for the inadequate editorial procedures followed and the unfairness with which they treated the Marine Institute by not affording us right of reply prior to the publication of Krkosek’s accusation.

In the Journal on the 14 August 2013, Krkosek et al.’s work was presented as having been peer reviewed. It was subsequently the basis of much media comment criticising Marine Institute science.

Read more: Marine Institute stands over quality and accuracy of its research

Statement from BIM

Emmet Barrett, Keating & Associates

The contention by groups opposed to salmon farming that the recent storm would have damaged the structure of the salmon farm proposed for Galway Bay is speculative, misinformed and incorrect. 

BIM knows the precise wave climate experienced at the location of the proposed fish farm as there was a measuring device on site during the storm. The data buoy demonstrated that the wave conditions generated by the storm were well within the parameters of the scenarios suggested in our Environmental Impact Statement and would not have caused damage. 

Read more: Statement from BIM

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