Please submit an objection to your local. It doesn’t have to be a long detailed letter. The message is simple: Salmon Farms kill Wild Fish and pollute the environment.
Below is a sample letter that you can download here: TD Objection Letter
Get a full list of TD’s Emails here: TD Email Addresses
To _____________ TD Date / /
I am seriously concerned with BIM’s aquaculture proposals for Galway Bay and the Marine Harvest Ireland proposal for Bantry Bay. The proposals to introduce large scale salmon farming in these Bay’s has the potential to seriously impact on the already declining wild salmon and sea trout stock in Ireland and indeed throughout the North East Atlantic. Salmon and sea trout anglers in Ireland have contributed millions of euro to the salmon conservation stamp fund to help in the recovery of our dwindling stocks. Anglers throughout the country are spending a lot of time effort and money working on habitat restoration projects in attempts to provide better spawning opportunities and nursery areas for juvenile salmon and sea-trout. Following the result of the SALSEA project, NASCO has advised all of the participating countries to maximise the spawning potential of their rivers as this is one area we have direct control over and can help in a stock recovery.
The SALSEA project discovered a high mortality rate of juvenile salmon smolts during the migratory phase of their life cycle. Contact with high levels of sea lice was evident on the west coast of Ireland particularly in areas where salmon farms were located. It was also discovered that while the smolts were moving out through the bays where salmon farms were located many of them became heavily infested with sea lice. As the smolts moved further out to sea they were captured and examined at different points on their migratory route, the sea lice were growing and the smolts were losing weight and eventually dying off. The salmon farms in our bays are now attracting the parasites in enormous numbers and their caged salmon have become captive hosts for the sea lice that are killing our wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout.
Inland Fisheries Ireland collaborated in an international study to examine the impact of sea lice on the marine survival of Atlantic salmon. The report results reveal that on average 39% of salmon mortalities were attributable to sea lice. This has a significant impact on wild salmon numbers and therefore wild salmon fisheries. These findings together with results of many other published scientific reports have built an evidence base that can no longer be ignored by the aquaculture industry. Currently in Ireland many rivers are closed to salmon fishing both for commercial and angling due to not meeting their conservation limits. Where salmon farming aquaculture exists, we get an abundance of sea lice. Studies have shown there are naturally high mortality rates of wild salmon stocks at sea however, this coupled with the synergistic effects of even a small level of parasite additive mortality can lead to a large loss in adult salmon.
The prevalence of this sea lice parasite alone can lead to a 39% loss of abundance in addition, in the areas where conservation limits are not being met or where stocks are in decline such as the River Feale we now have even a more serious threat of the loss of genetic variability. This is extremely serious as genetic studies in Irish rivers have shown that many river systems have several different genetic strains of wild Atlantic salmon.
Where the numbers of returning adults are low and not meeting the conservation limits the potential genetic loss is much greater. We are now closer than ever before to loosing these stocks for ever.
As a concerned angler and citizen, I vehemently oppose any further developments of salmon farming such as proposed by BIM for Galway and Marine Harvest Ireland for Bantry Bay because of the extreme high risks involved. The risks are even higher when organic fish farming is planned as only a maximum of two sea lice treatments is allowed, anything above that will result in losing the organic status label.
This Irish angling industry is worth an estimated €230 million per year to the economy. What is being proposed has the potential to destroy this. We are not opposed to closed containment land based fin fish farming with good controls as it will not impact on the wild fish stocks.
I request you bring my concerns to the Minister and advise him of the risks of losing our wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks and the €230 million from our angling tourism. People are working hard on the ground to develop this industry and are financially contributing to it. As stakeholders we ask that these marine salmon farm proposals be rejected and recommend that closed containment land based systems are the way forward.