Today’s Irish Examiner includes an article covering how a consortium of environmental NGOs are considering legal action, at a European Level, on the failure of the Government to ensure a Strategic Environmental Assessment is conducted on Food Harvest 2020.
The article looks at all areas of food production, finishing with issues surrounding government plans to significantly increase aquaculture output. In the interview Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment points out the key problems of current policy:
FH2020 includes significantly increasing aquaculture license determinations, but in compliance with EU environmental directives. Is this an adequate safeguard for the environment?
There are a lot of directives — so let’s hope so. But there are two problems. The first is that we don’t know what aquaculture operators are putting into the environment; records are held by the companies, and not the regulatory authorities. The second is even more fundamental. Our Ocean Wealth’ now plans three super-farms, each equal to the total national production of farmed salmon. The EIA for the first, in Galway Bay, is due out next month. The problem is that the licence application is being made by the minister’s own agency, BIM. BIM will then lease the approved licence to the highest bidder. Thus, the applicant for the licence is an agency of the licensing authority. Nowhere but in Ireland.
For the full article see: http://www.irishexaminer.com/farming/profile/environment-groups-are-considering-legal-action-201186.html