Bantry Harbour Authority objects to Salmon Farm

Today´s Irish Examiner reports:

Harbour authority lodges objection to €3.5m fish farm

By Claire O’Sullivan

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A harbour authority has lodged objections to a controversial €3.5 million fish farming project in West Cork by one of the biggest aquaculture companies in the world.

Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners objects to the Marine Harvest company’s proposal on the grounds of location.

According to Michael Hennebry, chairman of the harbour commissioners, a report prepared by a deputy harbour master said the proposed fish farm was “too close” to tanker anchorage forWhiddy Island oil storage terminal and to a “boarding point for pilots”.

Earlier this week, a delegation from the Save Bantry Bay group met with the harbour commissioners and conveyed to them a letter setting out reasons for their opposition to the project.

About 40 supporters of the group had also demonstrated against the project, which is to employ six people, outside the harbour commissioners office.

The group stated they were not opposed to aquaculture but to “this specific project at this specific location”.

The harbour commissioners insist their decision, to object to the project, was not influenced by the protest group or their letter but by concerns raised by their own colleagues.

One of the points highlighted in the letter related to the company’s argument that waste from the farm will pass directly “out into the Atlantic Ocean”.

“It has not been proven the currents and water movements in the bay will ensure waste from the salmon farm will pass directly from the salmon farms ‘out into the Atlantic Ocean’. Previous studies have in fact shown that water exchange in Bantry Bay is low, and sediments and waste material will move east into the head of Bantry Bay,” the letter said.

“These wastes will increase the nutrient levels in Bantry Bay which is one of the factors linked to phytoplankton blooms leading toxicity.”

David Millard, Bord Iascaigh Mhara regional development officer in West Cork, said that Marine Harvest, which operates a fish farm in Beara, has “a good environmental and safety record” in West Cork. “I understand why people might be worried but the application for aquaculture and foreshore licences are a strictly controlled process and Marine Harvest are following it to the letter of the law.

“The project will be regulated and will be monitored by the Marine Institute.”

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8 thoughts on “Bantry Harbour Authority objects to Salmon Farm

  1. Marine Harvest’s environmental and safety record in Chile, where MH was not adverse to taking an opportunistic advantage of the lack of regulations, is dismal – people have died as a result. And how do we know that Bord Iascaigh Mhara is going to do a better job of monitoring and regulating than the financial regulators did in Ireland?

  2. Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners`decision to object to the proposed industrial scale salmon farm at Adrigole is encouraging. Let´s hope the Harbour Authority´s step was not merely taken for technical and piloting reasons. Every stakeholder in Bantry Bay has to factor in the yet existing massive impact on Bantry Bay as we know it. This working bay with its slack currents canot take more emissions.

  3. As confused about the claimed 6 jobs. Marine Harvest said that during construction (which I’d imagine would only be a few months) there would be 6 jobs, but only 2 thereafter. My sources tell me that directly its more like 1 job.

  4. Am confused about the claimed 6 jobs. Marine Harvest said that during construction (which I’d imagine would only be a few months) there would be 6 jobs, but only 2 thereafter. My sources tell me that directly its more like 1 job.

  5. We support all efforts to avoid/ get rid of the “fish farming” in Irish bays and coasts!
    Go on fighting for avoiding “sins against nature and environment!

  6. Some people believe that (and I quote): “In the present economic climate jobs are hard enough to get and any work or jobs in the area should be welcomed and people should mind their own business and pass the care of others trying to move forward and create employment.” (unquote). With this attitude, a single job – even at the expense of many other jobs already existing in the area – might seem appealing at first sight. But the situation would have to be really desperate for people not to see beyond the immediate future, not to realize how this will destroy not only many existing jobs and lives, but preclude any further sustainable development (and jobs!) in the region. I hope that people will start thinking about moving forward in a more positive way, a way that will not destroy our children’s future for whatever minimal short-term gains are being promised. There are alternatives, that would bring more jobs to the area without impacting on local fishing activities and the tourism industry!

  7. “mind whose business?” we are all europeans, blow-ins or not, we ALL have the duty to protect the blue planet. common sense seems to vanish at the prospect of a SINGLE job and maybe a few short-term guests in b&b’s and local shops during the installation period. common sense tells that with a polluted bay – like happened in many other places before – there will be much less guests in b&b’s and local shops in the near future. in times of easy information those in favour of the one-job-promise should read the headlines about what happen(s)ed in patagonia and in nova scotia. and how this employer treats humans and animals alike. it should be quite easy to figure out how bantry bay will look after one salmon farm and another salmon farm and another salmon farm – the greed will destroy our last resources. we – all of us together – have to mind OUR own business please and that is to preserve an unpolluted area to keep the jobs many/most of us have. and to create sustainable jobs – not by destroying the area.

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