Impact of fish farm plans
Sir, – I am grateful that in this debate you have published a letter setting out the angler’s side, written by EJ Malone (January 24th), a renowned author, fly tier and angler.
Salmon farms, from the late 1980s onwards, have ruined seatrout fishing in the west of Ireland, Scotland, the Outer Hebrides and elsewhere in the world. Worthy scientists debated, but could not agree on the reason for the decimation of seatrout runs, now they are silent. Young salmon or smolts are badly affected by sea lice emanating entirely from fish farms on their journey out to sea.
It is argued by fish farmers that jobs are important, as indeed they are, but very few comparatively are provided by fish farms; profit being the principal motive. Due to their presence we have lost many more jobs than they ever provided in angling tourism, ghillies and boatmen’s jobs, guest house and hotel jobs, and revenue to fishery owners which enabled them to maintain their fisheries. Indeed, I recall, years ago the difficulty in hiring a boat on a good seatrout lough in the west without booking well in advance during the summer ; preferable to wait until the schools went back in early September!
Anglers in my age group, early 70s, never realised how fortunate we were in those days to enjoy such good fishing. Now, looking back and making comparisons is just a sad reflection on the greed of man.
I entreat all anglers and others who care about the quality of the sea water around our coasts to stand up and fight this proposal to establish the world’s largest fish farm in Galway Bay. – Yours, etc,