Monthly Archives: May 2013

How very nice of them : “Fish farmers from 23 countries sign decleration”

Published:  24 May, 2013

Associations representing 70,000 employees and over €2 billion in European farmed fish production signed up on Thursday May 23 to a declaration of five principles upon which the valuable aquaculture industry should be handed down through the generations in the best possible economic, social and environmentally sustainable state.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney, who currently chairs the EU Fisheries Council, witnessed the event at a gathering of fish farmers from 23 countries in Malahide, hosted by the Irish Farmers’ Association’s Aquaculture Section.

IFA President John Bryan welcomed the commitments by the group and commended the industry on moving so fast in such a short space of time in achieving the highest standards and in playing a significant role in a self-sufficient Europe.

The Principles in “Streaming Sustainability” to guarantee that the next generation of European aquaculture producers inherit a fully sustainable industry rest on:

· Clean Water Resources

· A Healthy Environment

· A Science-based Profession

· Partnership with policy makers and decision takers

· Respect for the Consumer

The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers, which will also hold their 45th AGM in Dublin this weekend, represents the interests of marine and freshwater producers of species such as salmon, trout, carp, bass, bream and others from Iceland to Israel. FEAP President, Arnault Chaperon, said that the declaration represented a mature and responsible commitment to the future by the Federation and its members.

What is going on Mr.Coveney?

A very worrying development has taken place which leaves us wondering what else is going on that we are not being told about. In that regard we have contacted the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine aquaculture licencing section and have also written directly to Simon Coveney………..

Mr. Coveney,

I would like to bring to your attention an anomaly which has come to light in relation to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), as part of the licence application for a deep sea development in Galway Bay.

I, along with many other concerned individuals and organisations, purchased a copy of the EIS when it became available to the public. BIM also published the EIS on their website. This EIS is, I assume, the same EIS which was submitted to your department as part of the application procedure and is now part of a statuatory process.

However, changes seem to have been made to the EIS, as it appears on the BIM website. The changes that have come to light are in Part 2 (Project
Description), section Burren Smoke House, on page 97 of the
EIS. Under this section in the hardcopy version, which I assume is
identical to that which was submitted as part of the application
process, there are two paragraphs which read as follows:
“Burren Smokehouse
Established in 1989 by Birgitta and Peter Curtain, based in
Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, the Burren Smokehouse is a well established
producer of high quality and multi award winning smoked salmon. The
smokehouse produces a wide range of products including hot and cold
smoked organic Salmon, smoked Mackerel and smoked Trout.

The smokehouse exports to the European and American markets, and is
part of the Burren Ecotourism Network, which comprises 20 local
businesses committed to offering environmentally friendly services to
tourists visiting the area. Burren Smokehouse is also a member of Good
Food Ireland and the Slow Food movement”

It has come to light that the second paragraph has now been deleted
from the online version of the EIS and no longer appears on the BIM website. This raises some questions to which I would be grateful for your response:

1) Has the applicant notified the Department of Agriculture, Food and
Marine (DAFM) of changes to the EIS?

2) If so, then when was notification given and what reasons were given
for altering the document?

3) If notification was given, is the applicant oblidged to also notify the public?

4) If notifcation was not given then is the applicant in breach of any
regulations in altering the document which is available to the public
on line, without notifying the DAFM?

5) If notification was given, then who submitted the changes on behalf of BIM?

6) If changes have been made legitimately then is the applicant required
to notify all those who made submissions under the statuatory and
public consultation phase?

7) Can you confirm which document is now being assessed for approval: the one that went through public consultation (in line with the statutory process) or the edited document?
If it is the original, then what is the rationale for the change, and what purpose does the edited document serve if it is not for evaluation?

9) Will you, as Minister with overall responsibility for BIM, now instruct the applicant to provide all other changes which have been made to the online version, and rationale for those changes?

As all hard copies of the original EIS are now different from that which is being made electronically available, it is incumbent on you and your department to instruct BIM to rectify this situation without delay and I am now also calling on you as Minister to make a public statement in this regard.

I await your reply,

Yours sincerely,

Damien O’Brien,
Public Relations Officer
No Salmon Farms At Sea.

Marine Minister issues assurance on Galway bay fish farm decision

Sunday, 26 May 2013 15:23

The Minister for Marine says nothing will be sanctioned in Galway bay that will damage the environment or wild fish stocks.

Simon Coveney made the comments in relation to plans for a fish farm off the coast of Inís Oírr.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara is applying for a licence to facilitate the development of a deep sea salmon farm at a site roughly 1.7 kilometres from the nearest land mass, which it says could create hundreds of jobs.

Groups such as Inland Fisheries Ireland claim the project could pose a risk to wild salmon stocks.

Speaking to Galway Bay fm news, Minister Coveney says a decision on the application is due to be made in the coming months.

How Norway Is Killing Your Sushi ,May 23, 2013, Dave Asprey

In a clean environment, fish is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Most fish is rich in protein, vitamin D, and omega 3 – all essential nutrients for losing weight, increasing performance, and being bulletproof! Unfortunately, because of the Norwegian-led fish-farming industry and modern pollution, its no longer safe to assume you’re eating a nutritious, disease and poison-free fish… unless you know exactly where it came from.

Long story short: Avoid farmed fish the same way you avoid industrial red meat, insist on wild-caught sockeye salmon, and boycott Norwegian fish products because their global fish farms have killed 90% of local healthy salmon populations, including the ones 15 minutes from my house. Bastards!

To read the full article please go to the following link

How Norway Is Killing Your Sushi – The Bulletproof Executive



State bodies disagree on salmon farm

By Nicola Corless
Thursday, 16 May 2013 11:02

CLARE Labour Party TD Michael McNamara has called on Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) to withdraw its application for a large-scale salmon farm off the North Clare coast because of “a significant difference of opinion” between BIM and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), both State bodies.The final decision on the future of the 456-hectare organic fish farm falls to the Minister for Agriculture.

The proposed site is just over one mile from Inis Oírr and about four miles from the Clare coast and would accommodate 15,000 tonnes of salmon each year.Deputy Michael McNamara is now calling on BIM to withdraw its application for an aquaculture licence for the salmon farm. He said, “A significant difference of opinion has emerged between BIM and IFI, whose statutory function is the protection, management and conservation of the island’s fisheries resource.”


“I believe Inland Fisheries Ireland have raised a number of serious issues that should be addressed before the application is proceeded with. These include job displacement, the potential impact of sea lice on wild salmon and the potential impact of a large-scale escape of farmed salmon on the local wild population,” he said.Deputy McNamara said the board of IFI have serious concerns that jobs created by the current proposal will be more than offset by the associated loss of jobs in recreational, angling and tourism sectors if this development proceeds without adequate environmental protections in place.


“IFI is also concerned that the existing Environmental Impact Statement does not deal adequately with the potential impact of sea lice on salmon smolts and  calls for a survey to identify the migration route of salmon smolts though Galway Bay,” according to the Clare deputy.Prior to writing to BIM, Deputy McNamara sought the views of constituents at a meeting in Doolin and discussed the matter with fellow Oireachtas members representing constituencies around Galway Bay.


“I fear the current application may lead to a long and expensive legal battle in the courts, both domestically and in Europe, at enormous cost to the State, where the State will be represented on both sides of the argument. It is not desirable that various State agencies are drawn into conflict with each other,” he added.Deputy McNamara said the purpose of the Doolin meeting was to hear and understand the views of representatives of the fishing industry on BIM’s proposal for large-scale salmon farms in the West of Ireland.


“I also sought input on how the Government could help to sustain and develop the existing fishing industry. Arguments against the BIM plan for salmon fish farms off the West Coast of Ireland were strongly expressed. In particular, there were references to the potential damage to tourism that could be done by the proposed 1,100 acre site between Doolin and Inis Oírr with another site near Inverin, if they were given a licence for salmon farming,” he said.


“Speakers said the cages would be unsightly from Doolin and the revenue yielded by tourism to the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and the Burren could be put in jeopardy. Smaller-scale operations from local communities were considered more desirable and the case was made for future sustainable fishing in coastal communities,” he stated.An information meeting on the fish farm will be held this Friday night in Ballyvaughan Community Centre at 8pm.


Local fisherman, Patrick Mullins explained, “We are holding this meeting because a lot of people don’t know anything about this proposed farm and don’t know what is going on. There are genuine concerns, particularly from inshore fishermen, about the dangers around this.“Up to now, the inshore fishermen have a good relationship with BIM and the Marine Institute. We still do but this is being pushed upon us and we were told this is going in here and we have had very little say in it. This is not something you can take lightly. I am not against development but there are questions to be asked.”


Sea lice presence in salmon farms increases

Thursday, May 23, 2013, 22:30 (GMT + 9)

The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) has confirmed the existence of 79 Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) farming centres with a high spread of caligus (sea lice).

Under the Specific Health Programme of Caligidosis Surveillance and Control (PSVEC Caligidosis), these centres had an average weekly load that is higher than nine caligus parasites per specimen.

Out of that total, 13 centres were farming rainbow trout and the remaining ones were farming Atlantic salmon.

Out of all the centres reported to have high spread of sea lice (CAD), seven were undergoing a harvest process while the rest were going through the fattening period.

Among the companies that had a higher amount of CAD are Mainstream, with 13 of its centres that have been reported; Multiexport, with 13 centres; Australis Mar, with nine centres; and AquaChile, with nine centres, among others.

The report issued by Sernapesca reads that 72 centres were in the fattening process and only 7 were undergoing the harvesting phase:

  • AquaChile: Betecoi, Chidhuapi, El Pino, Fresia Weste, James 1 and Lagreze Norte;
  • Australis Mar: Humos 3.

By Analia Murias

Pesticide find raises concerns over Bantry salmon farm plan

The discovery of huge quantities of toxic pesticides at a salmon farm in Scotland has escalated fears for a facility planned for Bantry Bay.

The Save Bantry Bay committee has reiterated calls for food and marine Simon Coveney to refuse planning permission for a new salmon farm in the world-famous bay after it emerged huge quantities of the toxic pesticide, Teflubenzuron, were discovered at a salmon farm site in Scotland.

An investigation is underway at the Marine Harvest facility after the discovery that toxic pesticide residues hundreds of times above environmental limits had been detected.

However, Marine Harvest Ireland insists the toxic pesticides are not used at their facility in Bantry Bay.

“In relation to Teflubenzuron detection in Scottish sediments, Marine Harvest Ireland has never used this medicine in our organic fish anywhere in Ireland, including Bantry Bay,” a spokesman said.

“Salmon are extremely sensitive to pollution and only prosper in clean and well-oxygenated waters.

“It is therefore in our interest to ensure that the water quality in Bantry Bay remains pristine.”

The spokesman added: “There has been salmon farming in Bantry Bay for almost 40 years. It has operated without incident and today it is an integrated part of the local Beara peninsula community.

“Marine Harvest Ireland is one of the most comprehensively inspected and certified organisations in the industry by the agencies that regulate our industry, customers and international standards organisations. Every stage of our production process is audited annually by independent bodies.”

The company plans to invest €3.5m in setting up a 14-cage salmon farm at the Shot Head site and a further minimum of €10m over each two-year production cycle.

In addition, there will be eight long-term positions for operatives.

Local action committee secretary Alec O’Donovan said SBB was convinced the environmental impact to Bantry Bay from a new salmon farm would be too high a price to pay for future generations.

“How can we have confidence when the controls in place are not strict enough or, indeed, even enforced.

“The Environmental Impact Statement completed by Marine Harvest as part of the licence application has failed to meet standards set by the EU EIA directive. And now we hear of an investigation underway in Scotland at a Marine Harvest facility there. We can’t allow something like this to happen in Bantry Bay,” Mr O’Donovan said.

State agency Bord Iasciagh Mhara, meanwhile, said: “We have full confidence in the environmental monitoring and controls applied to the marine salmon farming sector here in Ireland.

“Marine Harvest Ireland is required to comply with these and it is our understanding that their compliance record is very good.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

IFI answer some of your questions

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 15:25

BIMs Fishfarm Proposal in Galway Bay

Does IFI have concerns regarding the proposal by BIM to locate a fish farm in Galway Bay?
IFI has expressed its concern in relation to the location and scale of the proposed fish farm in Galway Bay and how its development and operation would impact negatively on wild salmon and sea trout stocks and their habitat. IFI has also pointed out that the recognised negative impacts of sea lice on salmonids have not been adequately dealt with in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or the associated Natura Impact Statement (NIS). Recent findings show sea lice to have devastating effects on wild salmon, accounting for up to 39% of salmon mortalities.

IFI has provided detailed guidance on the measures required to address its key environmental concerns as part of its submission regarding the EIS and NIS Statements attached to this licence application. The compelling international evidence available to inform this issue clearly illustrates the negative links between unsustainable salmon farming and wild salmon and sea trout stocks.

See IFIs submission and a Factsheet on the Impacts of Salmon Aquaculture on Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Stocks at
Press releases from IFI regarding the issues:

Has IFI received a response to its submission?
No response has been received to date.

Have IFI concerns in relation to the expansion of salmon farming as proposed been met?
No, IFIs concerns have not been met either by formal response or through the consultative process.

Is IFI in negotiations with BIM?
No, IFI is not in negotiations with BIM.

Has IFI had discussions with BIM?
IFI has offered its advice and shared its concerns relating to the associated NIS and EIS with BIM in discussions. This is not a negotiation, IFI is endeavouring to facilitate and foster an understanding of the issues raised in its submission to the EIS.

Does IFI have concerns regarding other aquaculture proposals?
As the state agency with responsibility for the protection, management and conservation of Ireland’s inland fisheries and sea angling resources, IFI has been a consistent supporter of a sustainably developed aquaculture sector in Ireland for many years.

IFI’s position is that all planned aquaculture developments must fully consider and mitigate against any potential adverse impact on wild salmon and sea trout stocks in surrounding waters.

The Board of IFI have previously recommended the establishment of an independent three person group to examine the whole area of wild salmonid /  aquaculture interactions and make recommendations.

Why has IFI not appeared in public debates or on the Prime Time programme?
IFI has decided not to accept the opportunity to partake in public debate, as doing so might or be perceived as interfering in the formal review process which is on-going. IFI is satisfied that its submission, which is supported by international scientific studies, clearly sets out its concerns and recommended measures for mitigation.

Will IFI provide information or clarification in relation to its concerns?

IFI has informed the debate around this issue focusing on ensuring that any proposed salmon farm considers fully its impacts on wild salmonids; detailed information on IFI advice and observations in relation to this project are available on the IFI web site at

Specific questions not answered in this FAQ or in the papers available should be forwarded to