Irish Times, 18 Feb 2013: Angling Notes – Sea-lice concerns grow over plans for salmon farm in Galway Bay

Angling Notes – Sea-lice concerns grow over plans for salmon farm in Galway Bay

18 February 2013


ANGLING NOTES Concerns over sea lice emanating from salmon farms and the resulting potential for detrimental effects on wild salmon and sea trout continue to gain momentum, particularly in light of BIMs proposal for a super-sized salmon farm for Galway Bay.

Renowned sea-trout angling guide Judd Ruane from the Moy Estuary, in Ballina, Co Mayo, says it never fails to disappoint how varied our marine scientists have been over the years on the question of fish farms.

“With the introduction of salmon fish farms we have seen the decimation of the greatest sea trout fishery in the country, namely Connemara. Those who speak on behalf of the government are still in denial every step of the way.

“Now BIM is proposing a super-size fish farm and are at it again, contradicting not some, but all, concerns been raised.

“For most of my life I have fished sea trout on the Moy estuary, which is in the middle of a finfish farm exclusion zone along the North Mayo/Sligo coastline.

“We enjoy excellent runs of sea trout year after year and our returns to the NWFB are a matter of record. I have supplied scale/adipose samples over the years and never had a problem with sea lice. I wonder why?

“In July 2012 marine biologists from around the world signed a pledge to save the Coral Reef. Who, I wonder, will save our salmon and sea trout?” he asks.

More on sea lice

Henry Cowper, of Sneem note, River in south-west Kerry highlights yet another twist to the sea-lice saga.

He says: “What has not been highlighted yet are the “protocols” about sea lice control/inspections of existing fish farms.

“For instance, I don’t think inspectors are allowed to do spot checks. One farm in the Kenmare River was told of a forthcoming inspection and asked to have 25 fish ready for inspection (excess lice were removed).

“Controls are not in place at the moment, so what hope is there if Bantry and Galway go ahead?” he asks.

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