Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Guidelines for Anglers that suspect they have recaptured an escaped Farmed Salmon

Guidelines for Anglers that suspect they have recaptured an escaped farmed salmon:

1. Do not return the salmon to the water.
2. Tag the salmon with rod or commercial tags issued with your licence under the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Regulations. (Blue, brown, red, white)
3. Contact IFI immediately and report where you caught the farmed salmon (estuary/river/lake).
4. Freeze the salmon whole and IFI will assist with the identification process.
5. If the Salmon is identified as a recaptured farm escaped salmon, your tag will be replaced.

Blackrock +353 1 2787022
Clonmel +353 52 6180055
Macroom +353 26 41221
Limerick +353 61 300238
Galway +353 91 563118
Ballina +353 96 22788
Ballyshannon +353 71 9851435

Please be advised that farmed salmon may be the subject of various treatments and may not be suitable for human consumption.

Signs that you may have caught a Farmed Salmon
  1. Rounded Head 
  2. Damaged Fins
  3. Missing or Partial Gill Plates
  4. Unusual Spotting

A farmed salmon from Bantry Bay (photo: Niall Duffy)

Monday, 10 February 2014

MINISTER Simon Coveney is due to answer a written parliamentary question this week on the reported escape of between 60,000 and 80,000 large salmon from a farm in Bantry Bay.

MINISTER Simon Coveney is due to answer a written parliamentary question this week on the reported escape of between 60,000 and 80,000 large salmon from a farm in Bantry Bay.

A statement issued by local group Save Bantry Bay yesterday confirmed the incident occurred on Saturday, February 1st, when a cage pulled its anchor and upended into another cage, allowing the fish to escape.
The local group, which said it had been monitoring the situation since the storm, said they were ‘surprised that the company has made no announcement’ and expressed concerns because of the ‘very real likelihood of further escapees. The protective nets have been stripped by the gales and the seas are overtopping the cages, allowing salmon to escape and predators like seals to enter’, the statement said.

The written parliamentary question, tabled by TD Clare Daly on behalf of Friends of the Irish Environment last week, asked if the Minister ‘will detail the damage to aquaculture operations during the recent stormy weather and in particular, the number of fish escaped as reported under the Licencing conditions for fin fish operations to his Department.’

The question identifies the company in Bantry Bay and asks if the Minister can assure the Deputy ‘that he is satisfied that escapees from salmon farms have not and will not have an irreversible impact on the genetic integrity of native wild salmon stocks.’

FIE Director Tony Lowes called the escape of farmed fish an ‘ecological disaster’. ‘The number of maturing fish that escaped in Bantry Bay are twice the world wide total of escapes in 2012,’ he said.
‘Not only can farmed salmon pass contaminants, parasites and pathogens to wild salmon, but escaped farmed salmon threaten wild salmon because they compete for food and mates. Because farmed salmon are bigger and faster-growing, they often win out. And when farmed salmon succeed in mating with wild salmon, they are liable to produce genetically inferior offspring. The term “frankenfish” is not scaremongering.’
Inland Fisheries Ireland reports that escapes ‘can lead to salmon extinction in their native rivers, particularly where wild stock numbers are low.’ Their ‘Factsheet’ reports that ‘In Norway, all classified wild salmon rivers have been negatively impacted by farmed salmon escapes. 8 salmon rivers have been critically threatened or have lost their native wild stocks.’ The news comes days after Marine Harvest, who produce 80% of Ireland’s farmed salmon, announced 2013 extraordinary loses of €6.7 million due in part to stormy weather preventing feeding and dosing with medicines. The Minister’s reply is due on Wednesday.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

60,000 to 80,000 Farmed Salmon have Escaped in Bantry Bay, Co Cork, Ireland

It is estimated that between 60,000 to 80,000 one year old  farmed salmon have escaped from a salmon farm at Gerahies, Bantry Bay, County Cork with an added undetermined number of smaller fish escaping after a bad storm on Saturday 1st February 2014. Save Bantry Bay said: ‘We are particularly concerned because of the very real likelihood of further escapees. The protective nets have been stripped by the gales and the seas are overtopping the cages, allowing salmon to escape and predators like seals to enter.’

‘Their licence requires that they report all escapes to the Department of Agriculture without delay and this information should be available to us all through the local media.’
The company must tell the public what is going on, even if they are unable to undertake a detailed survey of the remaining fish because of the unsettled weather. We need to know what measures the company is taking to prevent their further escapes.

The statement went on to explain that ‘The escape of farmed salmon is a potential disaster for our native wild stock. ‘These escaped fish interbreed and compete with wild salmon, transmitting disease and parasites to them. Farmed salmon compete with native stock for scarce food and irreversibly weaken the genetic makeup and survival of wild salmon if they reproduce with them.
‘Contained systems on land are the only way to protect the environment and raise salmon. It is clear now that the proposed expansion by Marine Harvest in Bantry Bay can not be defended’, the statement from the local group concluded.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Request for ‘redress for maladministration’ filed against Department of Agriculture - Irish Times

An EU inquiry into the prevalence of sea lice around salmon farms and their impact on wild salmon, which was closed in September 2012, is to be reopened.

The reopening of the inquiry follows complaints that information from State agency Inland Fisheries Ireland on the scale of damage caused to wild fish from lice associated with salmon farms, was withheld by the Department of Agriculture.

The EU initially sought information on the scale of the sea lice issue from Ireland as part of a larger EU study as far back as 2009.

Friends of the Irish Environment complained to the EU that a key report from the Inland Fisheries Ireland had been “suppressed” by the Department of Agriculture, which handled Ireland’s response to the Commission.

Friends of the Irish Environment said the Inland Fisheries Ireland report was critical of the effect of salmon farms on the prevalence of sea lice and the failure of Ireland’s programme to control the spread of sea lice.

This evidence was not included in the Department of Agriculture’s final submission in 2011, which preferred other evidence from the Marine Institute.

The Marine Institute claimed wild salmon suffered only a 1 per cent mortality rate from sea lice.

In 2012 the EU closed its investigation.

Friends of the Irish Environment subsequently submitted a complaint for “redress for maladministration” to the Office of the Ombudsman, which launched an investigation. The Friends also complained to the EU and to the EU Ombudsman’s Office.

The Friends said the Department of Agriculture may have a conflict of interest, as it is currently the licensing authority for and promoter of a large scale salmon farm in Galway Bay. The controversial 456 hectare site project ear-marked for the lee of the Aran Islands, is being opposed by a coalition of game anglers.

In addition to the reopening of the initial EU inquiry, the EU Ombudsman’s office has also said it is investigating the events, as is the Ombudsman’s Office in Ireland.

A comment was not immediately available from the Department of Agriculture this morning.

Ireland has until the January 15th to reply to the Commission.

Environmental and angling groups last week launched a Boycott Farmed Salmon for Christmas campaign at the Good Food Ireland awards in Dublin.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Response from Consumer Association of Ireland

Dear Consumer Association, December 13th 2013

We have a huge concern regarding miss labeling of farmed salmon products on Irish supermarket shelves. We believe the consumer is being misled with fancy packaging that displays words such as Organic, Natural Salmon etc...

We believe the word Organic displayed on Farmed Salmon and Smoke salmon is completely wrong and only offers to manipulate customers into buying farmed salmon from supermarket shelves.

What can the Consumer's Association of Ireland do about this problem?

Yours Sincerly,
Ireland Against Salmon Farms

RESPONSE FROM CAI December 16th 2013

Thank you for your email. We currently work very closely with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in relation to all regulation. Currently we are looking into the definition of ‘Artisan’ which will cover a range of foodstuffs. Specific to farmed salmon, this is being investigated at European level of which we are part of, through our membership of BECU.

Kind regards,

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Calls for Minister Simon Coveney to Resign over Salmon Farm Findings

People across the country are calling for Minister Simon Coveney to immediately step down as Minister for Agriculture amid perceived refusals to answer questions in the Dáil on the fish farm controversy. The proposal by An Bord Iascaigh Mhara to locate the 1,126 acre, 15,000 tonne, open caged salmon fish farm off Inis Óirr, is now halted pending an EU investigation and Minister Coveney now has until January 15 to explain the situation. The Galway Bay Protection Group, a body made up of doctors and medics concerned by the health implications of a fish farm, has welcomed the EU Commission’s decision but believe a public enquiry is also needed to examine the entire issue.

Meanwhile, Save Bantry Bay and Friends of the Irish Environment submitted Freedom of Information request for all documents relating to a previous EU investigation. Upon receipt of the documents it quickly became apparent vital evidence was suppressed, and requests were sent for the European Commission to reopen their investigations.

There is now a calling for Minister Coveney to step down as Minister for Agriculture.

Baffled by enthusiasm of salmon farm endorsement

Great article in the Southern Star dated December 7th 2013


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

9 new cages for Kilkieran Bay and 5 or 6 for Bertraghboy Bay in Connemara plus more to be added

The destruction of Kilkieran Bay and Bertraghboy Bay by our state. Nine new cages for Kilkieran Bay and 5or 6 for Bertraghboy Bay in Connemara and more to be added. You could practically walk to them from the shore and this is an SAC and SPA.

Again economically supported by Udaras na Gaeltachta and now run by a multinational salmon feed lot operator. Replacing salmon farms that never worked and got huge funding from Udaras na Gaeltachta in the past and this is a SPECIAL AREA OF CONSERVATION. It is a total disgrace.

Not much chance for the wild fish of Connemara...

PLEASE EMAIL YOUR COMPLAINT HERE http://ec.europa.eu/ireland/contact_us/index_en.htm

Kilkieran Bay

Bertraghboy Bay

Boycott Farmed Salmon This Christmas

Consumers Beware! Our message for Christmas 2014 is don't buy organic/smoked salmon.