18th October

Publicly-funded report unavailable from official sources in Ireland

Inshore Ireland’s December lead story asks why the official report of a major EU-backed scientific project, believed to include detailed analysis of the impact of sea lice on wild salmon and sea trout, is not readily available in Ireland.

SUMBAWS report

Why is this publicly-funded report not available in Ireland?

The SUMBAWS Project (SUstainable Management of interactions Between Aquaculture and Wild Salmonid fish) studied the impact of sea lice on wild populations of salmon and sea trout, and details the results of experiments by fisheries biologists in Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands and Norway.

Our story chronicles the efforts of a representative of the aquaculture industry to procure SUMBAWS, and outlines his contention that the report may contain vital information relevant to the debate on sea lice and wild salmon.

We report that two attempts by IFA Aquaculture to obtain the report through the Freedom of Information mechanism were unsuccessful, and that their request for it under the Public Access to Environmental Information process also failed.

Inshore Ireland’s requests to Inland Fisheries and the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources also failed, requiring it to initiate FoI.

We ask how this report became available to environmental NGO, Salmon Watch Ireland, who used it in a formal complaint to the EU Commission and which triggered a five-year investigation into the Irish salmon farming industry.

Why is this report impossible to obtain in Ireland?


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