Monthly Archives: July 2013

BIM’s defence of pesticide contradicts Irish Medicines Board

Friends of the Irish Environment press release:28/07/2013

Product should ‘not be allowed to contaminate water’

BIM Aquaculture Manager Donal Maguire’s recent statement to the media that ‘cypermethrin has been fully tested in the marine environment for toxicology to ensure it is safe’ is in direct contradiction to the Irish Medicines Board [IMB] and the manufacturer’s warnings, according to the Friends of the Irish Environment [see editors notes for references].

Cypermethrine is used for the control of sea lice on all Irish salmon farms, including the proposed ‘organic’ Galway Bay mega–farm. BIM is awaiting the Minister’s decision on its application for a salmon farm in Galway Bay that will double national production of farmed salmon.

The Friends cite the IMB product description which states that cypermethrin is ‘dangerous to fish and other aquatic life’ and instructs ‘Do not contaminate ponds, waterways or ditches with the product or used containers. The product should not be allowed to contaminate water.’

‘The Data Safety Sheet states that ‘According to Directive 67/548/EEC [Dangerous substances Directive] and 1999/45/EC [Dangerous Preparations Directive] cypermethrin is ‘Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long–term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.’

In a statement the Friends say that ‘Cypermethrin is a biocide which kills life, not a medicine which saves lives. The sea lice it teats are not an ‘ailment’, as BIM suggests – they are an infestation of parasites. Cypermethrin is a chemical used with the ‘intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on, any harmful organism’.

‘It is a highly ecotoxic active neurotoxin. There are known effects on fish and, most sensitive of all, crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters. Bathers and watersports may also be at risk. For this reason, the manufacturers clearly indicate that there should be no release to environment.’

According to the Galway Bay EIS, ‘The volume of chemical used to treat a pen is estimated at 3,333 cubic metres’. For comparison, an Olympic swimming pool holds 2,500 cubic metres. This will be discharged directly into the (once) natural waters of our Bays under BIM’s ‘organic certification’, creating massive biocide plumes without any attempt to formalise the environmental risk assessment within the existing EU legal framework.

‘Mr. Maguire’s position and that of BIM is without any scientific justification and contradicts the IMB and the manufacturers’ warnings. BIM have not even undertaken a base line study of lobster and crabs in Galway Bay’, Friends’ Director Tony Lowes pointed out.

Verification and further information: Tony Lowes 027 74771 / 087 2176316

Irish Medicines Board Information sheet

Data Safety Sheet

Danish firm sells contaminated fish oil

| | Fishnewseu.comTHE Danish fish oil refining company FF Skagen has been charged, along with two other companies, of illegally blending feed grade fish oil with technical grade fish oil and selling this as feed grade oil for use in fish feeds.
The IFFO understands that the technical grade fish oil which was blended with the feed grade oil had been derived from the distillation process to produce fish oil concentrates for the human nutraceutical market, such as the production of capsules.

Depending on the concentration method used, technical oils may contain ethyl esters of the fish oil, urea and alcohol (ethanol), which are not inherently toxic, although under the precautionary principle are deemed as unfit for consumption in the EU. Under EU regulations these by-products of the distillation process are deemed unfit for use for food or feed purposes and therefore must be used for technical purposes only (bio-fuel, paints, leather treatment etc). Their inclusion in fish feed is not considered to have posed a health risk to either the fish or the final consumer of the fish, though it is illegal under EU law.

The board of directors of Skagen are co-operating fully with the authorities and have dismissed the Managing Director following this incident.

FF Skagen is a member of IFFO and the factory implicated in this practice had been certified under the IFFO standard for Responsible Supply of fishmeal and fish oil. As a consequence of these matters the certification body of the IFFO RS standard for the factory, SAI, has suspended the factory certification and is undertaking a full review of the company’s practices and procedures.

US halts salmon imports from Chile due to contamination

Thursday, 18 July 2013 17:34

Written by Hannah Stone

One of Chile’s major export industries is in turmoil following the discovery of carcinogenic chemicals in a shipment of salmon to the United States.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the importation of salmon from a major producer in Chile on Wednesday, following the discovery of the banned carcinogenic chemical known as crystal violet in a shipment of the fish.

SalmonJuly18

Salmon farming in the Reloncavi Estuary in southern Chile. Photo by Pablo Rodríguez / Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Harvest, the Norwegian company who farms the contaminated salmon in Chile, launched an official investigation into the source of the crystal violet (also called gentian violet). Use of the chemical, which is used as an antifungal, in food preparation and animal feed is banned in both Chile and the U.S. due to its carcinogenic effects.

“[Marine Harvest] does not use crystal violet, and our own analysis and that of official Chilean bodies did not detect it in the salmon,” Gianfranco Nattero, director of sales and marketing for Marine Harvest in the Americas, told fish farming and aquaculture website IntraFish.

The company says it will be closely examining every aspect of fish production — from fish feed, to the processing and the packaging of the fish — to determine the source of the chemical.

Despite Marine Harvest’s denial of intentional use of the chemical, the director of environmental organization Ecocéanos, Juan Carlos Cardénas, sees these revelations as “no surprise,” and accuses Marine Harvest of belonging to a “culture of violation.”

Marine Harvest under the spotlight

Fishnewseu.com

FOLLOWING the alleged discovery of traces of a banned anti-fungal agent in salmon being imported into the USA from Marine Harvest’s Chilean sites, an Irish environmental campaign group has asked Minister Coveney to examine the level of testing for the chemical in Marine Harvest products in Ireland.

As a spokesman for Friends of the Irish Environment explained: “We are concerned that Ireland does not have the resources to undertake the testing that will ensure this food is safe. In turn, if industries are aware that regulators are not doing their job, there is a danger they will take advantage of the lax regime.”

Marine Harvest, which is Ireland’s largest producer of farmed salmon, has had its Chilean imports to the US seized and a ban placed on further imports of frozen and fresh salmon.

The ban follows the discovery of traces of the anti-fungal agent crystal violet, also known as gentian violet. The chemical is used for the removal of fungi in the tannery industry and in the farmed salmon sector. But its use is illegal and its presence in food in the European Union and the US is banned due to its carcinogenic effects. Studies conducted on this chemical product have demonstrated it has carcinogenic effects in laboratory animals after exposure to it.

The Chilean sales and marketing director for Marine Harvest, Gianfranco Nattero has denied the company uses the banned chemical. “We do not use crystal violet, and our own analysis, such as the official sampling programmes in Chile, have not detected it,” he told Ecocéanos News.

In a previous incident in 2008, authorities in Great Britain detected the presence of Crystal Violet in processed salmon being sold in England and Ireland. The tainted salmon entered the United Kingdom via Thailand, but the fish were farmed in Chile by Marine Harvest Chile, say the Friends.

BIM defends use of pesticides at proposed Galway Bay fish farm

Galway Bay FM Thursday, 25 July 2013 13:50

Galway bay fm newsroom – Bord Iascaigh Mhara has defended the use of an active ingredient within a veterinary medicine to be used at a proposed Galway Bay fish farm off Inis Oirr.

It follows concerns raised by campaign group Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages that a pesticide containing cypermethrin to be used at the farm could pose a toxic threat to aquatic organisms.

BIM has applied for a deep sea salmon farming licence at a site roughly six kilometes off Inis Oirr, which it argues could create hundreds of jobs.

It states that there are a number of licenced veterinary medicines permitted for use for the treatment of ailments in salmon farming.

It adds that cypermethrin is an active ingredient in one of these trade medicines which is used for the treatment of sea lice.

Speaking to Galway Bay fm news, Aquaculture Manager Donal Maguire says it has been fully tested in the marine environment for toxicology to ensure it is safe

Save Bantry Bay Press Release: BIM’S 5 Year Plan Environmentally and Economically Unsustainable

Press release 18th July

Yesterday BIM announced that aquaculture will be central to its new five-year plan for Ireland’s seafood sector that it hopes will deliver €1billion of seafood sales. To achieve this, BIM’s Chief Executive, Jason Whooley, is proposing a necklace of vast off-shore salmon farms around Irelands coast.

The announcement comes against a background of controversy. Government agency Inland Fisheries Ireland, environmental groups, fishermen, tourism and angling organisations have all raised serious concerns about the impact of such mega-farms – the scale of which have yet to be seen in Europe. The first alone will double Ireland’s output of farmed salmon. Yet, shockingly, no Strategic Environmental Assessment has been completed to determine what the impact of such a policy may be, despite this being required by EU legislation.

“The last National Seafood Plan 2007-2013 underwent such a Strategic Environmental Assessment, which resulted in a moratorium on the expansion of salmon farming due to the detrimental impact of sea lice on wild salmon populations. It was clearly stated the moratorium was to remain in place until the issue was resolved. Today the issue is far from resolved. Anyone who reads the papers knows that. And yet the Government denies the bulk of research available, instead blindly pushing forward a policy that is ill considered and potentially devastating to local environment and economy.” Said Alec O’Donovan, Secretary of Save Bantry Bay.

Today, angling alone is worth an estimated €500 million to the Irish economy, supporting numerous small family owned businesses in remote areas. Due to the devastating impact of salmon farming on wild salmon and sea trout populations, these jobs, and associated communities, could all be put at risk should this five year seafood strategy proceed.

Inshore fishermen will also lose grounds and stocks, as pesticides used to treat sea lice kill valuable crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters.

All sacrificed for a few vast salmon farms that are to be auctioned to the highest overseas bidder.

Any Irish firm is highly unlikely to win contracts to operate any of these mega-farm as there are no operators of an appropriate scale. Indeed today approximately 80% of Ireland’s salmon farming is run by Norwegian firm Marine Harvest whose profits go overseas.

“To suggest that BIM’s Seafood Strategy 2013-2017 is either sustainable environmentally or economically is a nonsense” Said Keiran O’Shea, Chairman of Save Bantry Bay. “The detriment to the environment caused by salmon farming is well known, and putting small locally owned businesses at risk to benefit a single multi-national is ludicrous. Remote communities that rely on inshore fishing and tourism could be destroyed. I am a third generation fishermen, currently awaiting a decision on a proposed salmon farm that would certainly affect my business. It is not just my living at risk, but my heritage. For government to push ahead without completing a strategic environmental assessment just adds insult to injury. Do they not care about rural communities?“ Asks Keiran O’Shea, Chairman of Save Bantry Bay.

ENDS

Irish aquaculture expansion plan under fire

Fishnewseu.com c

THE environmental pressure group Friends of the Irish Environment is calling on Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Simon Coveney to open public consultation following the recent publication of the BIM Strategy 2013-2017.
The strategy, launched on July 17, plans to “Significantly develop the aquaculture sector, within the context of clearly defined national policies, output targets and environmental targets.”

Chairman Kieran Calnan said BIM is targeting the production of over 45,000 tonnes of additional raw material during 2013-2017, with a 78% increase in volume of fish farm production by 2020. In this regard, Calnan went on to describe Irish farmed salmon as “a key target growth area for industry”.

The document revealed that a new Strategy for Aquaculture is to be produced in tandem with the Seafood Operational Programme 2014–2020 which will give effect to the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

A spokesman for the Friends said: “The public has the right to be consulted about a new national strategy. As happened during the last National Development Plan 2006 – 2013, there must be a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Operational Programme as it receives EU funding.

“Part of this process is public consultation, and this must be undertaken at the earliest possible opportunity in the national policy making process. During the previous 2007-2013 fisheries operational programme the SEA for aquaculture was not completed until July 2010. There is little point consulting with the public about policy that has already been implemented.”

 

Anglers’ €0.75bn just tip of iceberg

This week’s government report that angling and angling tourism are worth over €0.75bn — and 10,000 rural jobs — to the economy every year is very welcome.

At a moment when every opportunity to generate revenue and create employment matters, it is doubly welcome because it puts a value on a resource threatened on so many fronts that it suggests we are negligent, indifferent custodians of a world-class resource.

Anyone familiar with Irish angling and threats it faces at sea and in our lakes or rivers would probably respond to the €0.75bn figure by wondering what the sector might be worth if it was managed, protected and respected properly.

Sea anglers have seen stocks decimated by seemingly unaccountable commercial interests. Some inshore charter skippers have had to apologise to clients because once abundant fish stocks have disappeared. Boat anglers tell of gannets trying to take mackerel from their lines because they are starving as the fish they depend on have disappeared. Ornithologists tell of sea bird colonies collapsing because nesting birds cannot find the fish needed to feed their young.

Commercial interests want Government to allow netting for bass, a very slow growing species that has recovered because commercial bass fishing has been illegal for more than two decades. If this ban is rescinded then bass stocks will disappear in a very short time, indeed they may anyway because of illegal netting. Bass fishing is one of the strong growth areas in angling tourism.

The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, is expected to approve proposals for Europe’s biggest salmon farm off the Aran islands soon even though the deeply divisive project seems to depend on a controversial report commissioned by the project’s promoters, Bord Iascaigh Mhara. This almost unique report discounts the well-established and internationally recognised link between salmon farms and sea lice and the destruction of salmon and sea trout stocks.

Commercial salmon fishermen in Greenland will resume netting for salmon next month because they no longer see any point in protecting stocks that are commercially exploited in Ireland, Scotland or Norway. A project on the scale proposed for the Galway coast would certainly add to that momentum and jeopardise salmon conservation right around the Atlantic.

That such a project, and the reopening of the commercial bass fishery, are very real prospects in Ireland is a shameful indicator of our attitude to these precious resources. The prospect points to a deeply rooted cultural weakness central to our poor attitude to environmental protection.

There is, on top of all of this, the fact that overstretched fishery protection services do not represent an effective deterrent to commercial or individual poaching operations. And, if that was not enough, our attitude to water quality and protection is far less demanding than it should be.

The reality is that this week’s figure of €0.75bn is more an indication of the potential in the sector, rather than the realisation of that potential. And the really frustrating thing is that to realise the great opportunity all we have to do is properly respect and manage the resources nature has given us. This was acknowledged by Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd when he launched the report and in any event is something we have a responsibility to do for future generations. It seems a no-brainer.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Fishermen, NGOs question Ireland’s aquaculture expansion

July 19, 2013, 8:34 am

Irish Seafood Board plans to expand the country’s aquaculture output and raise sales of seafood to €1bn are unsustainable, said groups including the government agency, Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Yesterday the Irish Seafood Board [BIM] announced that aquaculture will be central to its new five-year plan for Ireland’s seafood sector that it hopes will deliver €1billion of seafood sales.

To achieve this, BIM’s chief executive, Jason Whooley, is proposing a series of large off-shore salmon farms around Ireland’s coast.

The announcement comes against a background of controversy. Government agency Inland Fisheries Ireland, environmental groups, fishermen, tourism and angling organizations have all raised serious concerns about the impact of such mega-farms, the scale of which has yet to be seen in Europe.

According to these critics, the first mega-farm alone will double Ireland’s output of farmed salmon. Yet apparently no Strategic Environmental Assessment has been completed to determine what the impact of such a policy may be, despite this being required by EU legislation, they said.

“The last National Seafood Plan 2007-2012 underwent such a Strategic Environmental Assessment, which resulted in a moratorium on the expansion of salmon farming due to the detrimental impact of sea lice on wild salmon populations,” said Alec O’Donovan, secretary of Save Bantry Bay.

“It was clearly stated the moratorium was to remain in place until the issue was resolved. Today the issue is far from resolved. Anyone who reads the papers knows that. And yet the Government denies the bulk of research available, instead blindly pushing forward a policy that is ill considered and potentially devastating to local environment and economy.”

According to Save Bantry Bay, angling alone is worth an estimated €500 million to the Irish economy, supporting numerous small family owned businesses in remote areas. “Due to the devastating impact of salmon farming on wild salmon and sea trout populations, these jobs, and associated communities, could all be put at risk should this five year seafood strategy proceed,” said the environmental campaign group.

Inshore fishermen could also lose grounds and stocks, as pesticides used to treat sea lice kill valuable crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs, it said.

The group further says any Irish firm is highly unlikely to win contracts to operate any of these mega-farm as there are no operators of an appropriate scale. Approximately 80% of Ireland’s salmon farming is run by Norway’s Marine Harvest.

“To suggest that BIM’s Seafood Strategy 2013-2017 is either sustainable environmentally or economically is a nonsense” Said Keiran O’Shea, chairman of Save Bantry Bay.

“The detriment to the environment caused by salmon farming is well known, and putting small locally owned businesses at risk to benefit a single multi-national is ludicrous. Remote communities that rely on inshore fishing and tourism could be destroyed.”

Plans to up the country’s seafood sales are being talked about even as news surfaced yesterday that Ireland’s seafood exports increased by more than a fifth in 2012, according to Ireland’s agriculture, food and marine minister Simon Coveney.

The country exported €517 million worth of seafood last year, thanks to exporters “successfully targeted new opportunities in markets like China, Russia and Africa,” he said.

Ireland has recently awarded €2.4 million in grant aid to 25 seafood processors under the 2013 Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme, said local media reports.

Adding private sector investment the sector will receive a total of more than €8 million in 2013.