Sunday, 23 February 2014

Irish Government Recommendation 1994 "Salmon Farms Should Not be Placed within 20km of Wild Salmon Rivers.

Save Bantry Bay comment

With the Marine Institute’s research now dismissed, the government has got to take heed of its own advisors recommendations from 1994, which clearly stated salmon farms should not be placed within 20km of wild salmon rivers.

The government has allowed its own agencies to pull the wool over their eyes. The Marine Institute’s sea lice research has caused controversy after controversy. World expert, Professor Mark Costello, has personally written to Minister Simon Coveney to warn him that he is being fed mis-information. And now a team of international scientists have discredited [Marine Institute] research in a well-respected peer reviewed journal.

Not only is the Marine Institute putting their reputation at considerable risk, but also that of the Irish government as a whole. Save Bantry Bay are asking that government stop blindly pushing their salmon farming agenda, backed by bad science, but instead complete a full Strategic Environmental Assessment as is required by EU law.

Inland Fisheries Ireland comment

Krkošek, et al. (2013) points out fundamental methodological errors made by Jackson et al. (2013). Following a re-analysis of the same data, it shows that it incorrectly concluded that sea lice play a minor, perhaps even negligible, role in salmon survival and that this finding emerged following three fundamental methodological errors.

This new paper conducts a re-analysis of the data with the findings departing substantially from those reported and interpreted by Jackson et al. (2013), and in previous publications that drew on some of the same data (Jackson, et al. 2011a; 2011b). Whereas Jackson et al. 2013 assert that sea lice cause 1% of mortality in Atlantic salmon, the correct estimate is actually a one third loss (34%) of overall returned stocks.

An Taisce comment

As authoritative scientific voices have weighed into the debate regarding fish farming, the plans for a giant 1,130-acre caged-fish installation between the Aran Islands and Clare, along with similar proposals elsewhere along the coast, appear increasingly ill-advised.

The revelations about its research can only strengthen the argument that the Marine Institute is propping up [BIM.s] controversial plans for these vast and intensive fish farms off the coast.

Sea lice have proven difficult to control on farms, especially large farms, because it is difficult to treat all fish simultaneously. Such fish farms are linked to mass fatal infestations of wild salmon and trout in countries such as Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Canada.

With the Marine Institute study now shown to be essentially a wrong-headed attempt to mask the risks posed by sea lice – harboured in great numbers within such farms – it now needs to be withdrawn in full.