Impact of fish farm plans
Sir, – I write in response to the quite alarmist comments made by EJ Malone (January 24th). Mr Malone referred to BIM’s proposed new salmon farm at Inis Oirr as the largest such farm in the world. Mr Malone is mistaken in this.
Supposition and comment are presented as fact throughout his letter. This would not be such a serious matter were it not for the jobs which depend on our aquaculture industry. Indeed, the Inis Oirr project alone has the potential to generate annual expenditure on wages and salaries locally of some €14.5 million, creating some 500 jobs in the process.
Furthermore, there is no evidence to support the contention that salmon farming causes any environmental damage. And Mr Malone’s claims in relation to negative impacts on sea trout have been comprehensively disproven by a series of research studies including the Cowyx report and Rothschild review.
There is also an attempt to somehow link red tides caused by offshore algal blooms with aquaculture when it has been firmly established that none exists.
Mr Malone shares an apocalyptic vision of the destruction of the tourist industry in the west as a result of the establishment of one salmon farm. However, he also claims that the salmon fisheries of Connemara have already been in serious decline without any impact from the proposed salmon farm. The Marine Institute has already shown that climate changes and other effects on the high seas and not salmon farming are the main causes of such declines. Mr Malone would be better employed in using his time and energy to tackle the real issues facing angling in Ireland and not indulging in damaging scaremongering which could deprive Ireland’s already disadvantaged coastal communities of a much needed economic and employment boost. – Yours, etc,
Bord Iascaigh Mhara,
Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.