Friday, 8 March 2013

Irish Times - Controversy Over Fish Farm

Sir, – According to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland is uniquely blessed among the salmon farming nations of the earth – sea lice infestations generated by Irish salmon farms apparently have no impact on migrating juvenile wild salmonids (Business, March 4th). BIM apparently knows something that has escaped the governments of Canada, Norway, Scotland and even Ireland itself which all have active programmes of research into the phenomenon and how it might be controlled or, better still, eliminated.

The Norwegians are so worried about the impacts of farm-generated sea lice and escapes of farmed fish that they have for a number of years now had a moratorium on any further expansion of their salmon farming industry. BIM bases its position about sea lice on highly tendentious interpretations of just three scientific papers (all three of which they have contended at one time or another to have been published by the Marine Institute, notwithstanding the fact they were published in learned journals by individual scientists).

It has ignored the truckload of other published material on the subject of salmon farm generated sea lice and wild salmonids, virtually all of which comes to more or less the same conclusion – that badly sited and poorly regulated and managed salmon farms constitute a serious threat to juvenile salmon and sea trout migrating to their feeding grounds. It has also consistently either ignored or, on occasions, rubbished the warning signals raised by another State agency, Inland Fisheries Ireland. Provided that it has the legal basis for doing so it is, of course, fully entitled to apply for an aquaculture licence and to promote its project.

As an executive arm of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, accountable to a Minister and ultimately to the Oireachtas, it is not, however, entitled to engage in behaviour designed to mislead both the Minister responsible for issuing the licence and the public as to the potential collateral damage which its project may cause. As things stand, this case is heading for a long drawn out legal contest in the High Court and possibly even in the European Court of Justice. This will take years and cost the taxpayer and the non-governmental organisations opposing the project a small fortune in legal costs.

Would all interests not be better served by the Minister subjecting the entire project to a thoroughgoing independent, transparent analysis of the BIM environmental impact statement, the substantive case it purports to make and the extent to which it conforms with domestic and EU law? – Yours, etc, NIALL GREENE, Chair, Salmon Watch Ireland, Lisnagry, Co Limerick.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Video of the Protest March in Galway

Video of the Protest March in Galway against the proposed Giant Salmon Farms for Galway Bay.

Monday, 4 March 2013


Friends of the Irish Enviroment

Read This News Article at:

Irish Times: March Over Proposed 100million euro Aran Island Salmon Farm

Up to 2,000 people, waving placards and banners proclaiming “Save Galway Bay” and the names of more than 20 angling and protest groups, marched through Galway city at the weekend.

The march, which made its way from Eyre Square to the city’s Spanish Arch, was organised in opposition to Bord Iascaigh Mhara plans for a €100 million salmon farm to be located on a 456 hectare site in the lee of the Aran Islands, a mile from Inis Oírr.

Addressing the rally at Spanish Arch, Icelandic entrepreneur and wild salmon conservationist Orri Vigfusson said the proposed farm of seven million fish could destroy migrating salmon smolts from Ireland the UK and Europe.......

Read Full Article here

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Examiner Newspaper: Protests over Galway fish farm

Protests over Galway fish farm

Saturday, March 02, 2013 - 05:30 PM
Up to 2,000 people have attended a protest march in Galway city - voicing their opposition to the government's plans to build a 15,000 tonne fish farm off the Aran Islands.

Led by a lone piper, anglers and environmentalists from Galway, Mayo, Clare, Dublin and Donegal marched from Eyre Square to the Spanish Arch, where speakers including Independent Deputy Noel Grealish addressed the crowd.

Demonstrators are warning the government the €100m project in Galway Bay could destroy wild salmon stocks in the region.

Thoughts on the Mega Salmon Farm Planned for Galway Bay


Seamus Sheridan is Green Party Spokesperson Agriculture Food and Marine and Green party member in Galway West.

I’d like to address points and claims made in the glossy brochure that BIM sent to each house in Galway via The Galway Advertiser.

Ireland, and particularly the West coast, has a massive potential to create a sustainable, profitable and exciting aquaculture sector. Our clean waters, seaweed and algae resources, energy potential and fishing communities all combined with the excellent work and research being undertaken by the Marine Institute and NUIG set us apart from the rest of Europe. How we as a community choose to harness these resources however, needs foresight and wise consideration.

Read the Full Article at

Irish Times: Protesters Oppose 100million euro fish farm

Irish Times

Up to 2,000 people have marched through Galway City in protest at plans by Bord Iascaigh Mhara to locate a €100 million fish farm on a 456 hectare site in the lee of the Aran Islands.
The marchers who wielded banners proclaiming “Save Galway Bay” and the names of more than 20 angling and protest groups, were addressed at the City’s Spanish Arch by Icelandic entrepreneur and wild salmon conservationist Orri Vigfusson.

Mr Vigfusson said he was dedicated to restoring the abundance of wild salmon that formerly existed on both sides of the North Atlantic, and warned the Galway Bay project could “destroy” wild salmon stocks in the region.

The gathering was also addressed by the Mayor of County Galway Thomas Welby, Niall Greene of Salmon Watch Ireland, Brian Curran of the Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers, Derek Hamilton of An Taisce, Michael Canney of Save Galway Bay, Enda Conneely of the Aran Islands, and independent TD Noel Grealish, among others.
Many of the speakers took issue with claims by Bord Iascaigh Mhara that fish farms do not cause environmental pollution.

Read the whole story on