“SAVE BANTRY BAY” PRESS RELEASE
MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2012
Save Bantry Bay, the group launched at a recent public meeting in Adrigole in West Cork to oppose a salmon farm at nearby Shot Head, is tonight demonstrating outside the monthly meeting of the Bantry Harbour Commissioners.
The group is highlighting the failure to hold public consultations as required under the Bantry Bay Charter. It is presenting the Harbour Commissioners with a letter and seeking a meeting to present its case.
The letter says that ‘the project had failed to make good on Bantry Bay Charter’s commitment to comprehensive public participation in relation to significant developments in Bantry Bay. This requires that agreement is reached within local communities before any further development takes place.’
Save Bantry Bay claims that Bantry Bay is yet to establish a Co-ordinated Local Area Management Scheme (CLAMS) and that the proposed management regime does not comply with Best Practice.
It says that the presence of five salmon rivers entering into the bay mean that smoults will be exposed to increased mortality through infection by sea lice.
Further, because of the slack the currents and water movements in the Bay the waste will increase the nutrient levels in Bantry Bay – one of the factors linked to toxic red tides. The letter claims that ‘The site is prime ground for local fishermen and will result in a loss of income and curtail constitutional right to the common good.’
Save Bantry Bay, which says it does not oppose all fish farms, is seeking to prevent the location of the fish farm at Shot Head. ‘Shot Head is an integral part of the ‘natural capital’ of Bantry Bay where many people depends on tourism for their livelihood, supporting divers, kayakers, sailors, and those who value the unspoiled amenities of the area.
Shot Head is a great natural asset. There are many beautiful places on the continent, for example in Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland… Have you ever wondered why people from these countries would at all want to come to the South West? There are nice pubs elsewhere, nice Irish people elsewhere (even as far as Australia!), the prices in this country are high and the roads dangerous. So why?? Because it is one of the last places where nature is wild, untouched, unspoiled, undefiled. Whenever you admire nature in Switzerland, you will inevitably see many traces of human influence, the taming touch of man. At Shot Head, you can see the hand of God!