Simon Coveney
The release of data about the environmental impact of Scottish open
cage salmon fish farms has led to a call by west cork based ‘Save
Bantry Bay’for the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to release
similar data here in Ireland.

The Data was released by the Scottish Environment Protection
Agency(SEPA) last week after two organizations sought the information
under Access to Information on the Environment [AIE] legislation. The
Scottish Salmon and Trout Association [STA] sought reports on the
seabed conditions and The Global Alliance Against Industrial
Aquaculture [GAAIA] on the use of chemicals to control the sea lice

The data released after the GAAIA request showed a 110% increase in
the amount of toxic chemicals used to treat the sea lice parasite in
the past four years and a thirteen fold increase since 2005 as
resistance increased. Salmon production has only increased by 23% over
the same period. The chemicals used are highly toxic to marine species
such as lobsters and prawns.

The second request from the STA revealed that SEPA assessments of the
seabed conditions under and around the cages deemed 137 fish farms
(44%)“unsatisfactory”(“beyond the assimilative capacity of the local
environment”), 64 (21%)“borderline” (“close to having an unsustainable
impact”) and only 106 (34%)“satisfactory”.

Save Bantry Bay, a local group formed to oppose the expansion of
Norwegian Marine Harvest’s operations in Bantry Bay, said that they
believed the Irish situation was in line with the Scottish figures but
that their request under AIE had been refused by the Government.

Chairman Kieran O’Shea said ‘The Minister has told us he does not hold
this information and has referred us to the companies involved. Marine
Harvest who produce 85% of Ireland’s farmed salmon, have refused
repeated requests by email, on the telephone, and in person to give us
this information.’
‘Is the Government leaving the monitoring of fish farms to the
producers themselves?’

Marine Harvest, the Norwegian company who produce 85% of Ireland’s
farmed salmon, has been identified as one of the ‘dirty five’
operators in Scotland by the GAAIA. The company uses more chemicals
than any other producer in Scotland.

The company is seeking to expand its operations in Bantry Bay by
building a new 3,000 ton open net fish farm off Shot Head, near
Adrigole on the Beara Peninsula. Save Bantry Bay says the area has
reached capacity for open pen salmon farms.

It supports the development of closed contained systems for aquaculture on land.


Kieran O’Shea, Chairman, Save Bantry Bay 027 60121 /086 1280303

Tony Lowes, Committee Member, 027 74771 / 0872176316

Further information

Dossier of Chemical Use on Scottish Salmon Farms (2008–2011)

Salmon and Trout Association Website

Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture Website

UK Press Coverage

Scottish fish farmers use record amounts of parasite pesticides

Dirty secrets down on the salmon farm

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