SBB Press Release and Photo Opportunity, 4 June 2013: Funeral March for Wild Atlantic Salmon

Save Bantry Bay Press Release and Photo Opportunity: Funeral March for Wild Atlantic Salmon
4 June 2013

At 9AM on Tuesday, 4 June 2013, Save Bantry Bay will deliver a wild salmon’s coffin and a letter to North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation who are holding their AGM at the Westcourt Hotel, Drogheda, Co Louth, Ireland. The symbolic coffin represents the potential outcome for wild salmon in Ireland should nothing be done to alter current governments policy on expansion of salmon farming.

World experts attending the NASCO AGM are being called upon to take a stand on salmon farming. Just as NASCO gave vital support in the campaign to ban drift nets, Save Bantry Bay is asking that they step in again in face of this new and equally serious threat.

Currently, Minister Simon Coveney and Bord Iascaigh Mhara propose to develop a chain of industrial scale salmon farms around Ireland’s coast. The first such mega-farm is proposed just off Inis Oirr and is as big as the island itself. Alone, it would double Ireland’s output of farmed salmon. Should it get to go ahead, it would set a precedent for many more. BIM has already stated there are as many as 10 in the pipeline.

Meanwhile Marine Harvest, Ireland’s largest salmon farm operator, is hoping to further expand its operations in Bantry Bay – an area where NASCO has already raised concerns that wild salmon are under threat from salmon farming.

Despite vast numbers of research studies highlighting the threat of salmon farming to wild salmon and sea trout, the Irish government continues to try and claim the studies are not valid and that it’s salmon farming policy is sustainable. In shock of the situation, world expert, Professor Costello, contacted Minister Coveney last month warning him of the situation, and highlighting the flaws in the scientific advice he is being given by his team.

Save Bantry Bay is therefore calling upon NASCO, in its role as enforcer of the Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean to which Ireland is a signatory, to take action. In addition, Save Bantry Bay is requesting NASCO conduct a comprehensive review of research that examines the interactions between salmon, wild salmon and sea trout populations.

Alec O’Donovan, Secretary of Save Bantry Bay, states ‘Only this way will it be possible to put an end to the misinformation being spun by our government. If Simon Coveney’s current plans go ahead it’ll be a certain death for our already struggling wild salmon and sea trout populations, as well as our angling industry which is worth over €240 million’.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

The Irish Government is a signatory to the Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean, which entered into force on 1 October 1983. You can find out more about the Convention and NASCO at http://www.nasco.int.

A copy of the letter being summited to NASCO is attached.

For further information contact:

1. Alec O’Donovan, Secretary, Save Bantry Bay, 087 7949227 (mobile)
2. Kieran O’Shea, Chair, Save Bantry Bay, 086 1280303 (mobile) or 027 60121 (office)

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