Irish Examiner, 29 June 2013: Fish farm plan blow to wild Atlantic salmon

Fish farm plan blow to wild Atlantic salmon

Saturday, June 29, 2013

We in FISSTA welcome Ray Ryan’s exclusive report (Irish Examiner, Jun 24) quoting Minister Rabbitte on a recent study that angling tourism is worth €500m and supports more than 10,000 jobs annually in ‘rural and peripheral communities, particularly in the west of Ireland’.
More importantly, the vast majority of that revenue is retained where angling occurs, and the Moy valley is a prime example of what the potential is for wild salmon and sea trout angling tourism. This sustainable local industry on our pristine natal rivers was built up by local anglers over generations with hard work, using their voluntary time and club funds. We have fought to protect it against many threats, including the most recent salmon farming proposal in particular.

We have appealed to An Taoiseach to ask Minister Coveney to reconsider and withdraw his unsustainable plans for a mega fish farm of 15,000 tons (7.2m toxic salmon) in Galway bay and nine more along the west coast. The reality is that our annual revenue and angling jobs will be lost if Minister Coveney grants himself or BIM the ten licences for these farms which they claim will create 500 new jobs, which we question.

It makes no sense to sacrifice hard-won sustainable jobs in one angling sector to promote an unsustainable ‘pollute to produce’ fish farming business that will last as long as the multinational tender makes a profit. We will fight any fish farm plan that will wipe out our wild Atlantic salmon species or our invaluable angling industry, or our pristine environment. Such jewels are not for international sale.

Paul Lawton
Federation of Irish Salmon & Seatrout Anglers

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