"Save Bantry Bay" writes to Schools

The Save Bantry Bay group have emailed schools in Beara and Bantry. The text of the letter is below:

Dear Head Teacher,

Re: Marine Harvest boat naming competition

We understand your pupils have recently been invited by Marine Harvest / SilverKing Seafoods Ltd to enter a boat naming competition. We recognise a prize of €900 for the winning school, and €100 for the winning pupil is very appealing, and fully respect your need for funding. In this regard we wish you the very best of luck.

However, we also ask that you consider the wider context of this competition, and perhaps discuss this with pupils who wish to enter. As always, there are two sides to every story!

Marine Harvest Ireland (MHI) have recently submitted an application for a very large salmon farm in Shot Head, Adrigole, Beara. Sadly no public consultation within local communities took place regarding the proposal. This is despite their corporate social responsibility statement which claims:

“We take initiatives to develop positive relationships in the communities. These include nature conservation programmes, environmental initiatives, community projects and the sponsorship of local sports and cultural events. Our local management is encouraged to give attention to the views of local communities and engage in dialogues to find mutually beneficial or acceptable solutions to any concerns that are raised with respect to the activities of Marine Harvest.”

In fact, many peoples income depends on activities that would be put in jeopardy by the positioning of this particular salmon farm and there are very serious scientific concerns about the impact on the environment in this location.

We, as a group, are not against all salmon farming, we just wish it to be conducted in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. For further information about our concerns regarding this particular salmon farm, you can look our website www.savebantrybay.org or look at today’s article in the Irish Times http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0229/1224312524640.html

Please do not to let the prize money sway your pupil’s opinion without them considering the pros and cons of this salmon farm. Instead, help your pupils think critically and form their own judgment using the above information.

Yours sincerely

Kieran O’Shea,
Save Bantry Bay


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