Press Release 11th July 2013: No Salmon Farms at Sea

Press Release 11th July 2013, No Salmon Farms at Sea

The Marine Institute have yet again produced a “study” which can at very best be described as a source of misinformation. The Jackson et al study “Evaluation of the Input of Aquaculture and Freshwater Habitat on the Status of Atlantic Salmon Stocks in Ireland” has recently been printed in a “pay and publish” journal entitled “Agricultural Sciences”. The Marine Institute has spent, the euro equivalent of, six hundred dollars of tax payer’s money to ensure that this study is published and supposedly peer reviewed. In fact the timeframe from submission of the study to acceptance indicates a very quick review indeed. This is hardly conducive to rigorous scrutiny and one wonders how many articles are rejected by this journal after having paid the fee.

Jackson et al conclude that there is “no correlation between the pressure of aquaculture and performance of adjacent wild salmon stocks”. This conclusion has been reached without reference or attempt to refute the immense body of current research, which it is at odds with, from the vast amount of peer reviewed scientific literature demonstrating the effects of escaped farmed salmon, the genetic make up and survival and fitness of wild salmon populations. There is a distinct lack of clarity in the statistical methods used to conclude a result. At no point is there any reference to what methods or tests were used to derive their conclusion. A result is given but the test used to obtain this result is not reported. How are other scientists supposed to reproduce a study in an attempt to refute/support it without direction on how the study was concluded? It is deeply disturbing to know that a state agency is actively pursuing a policy designed to misinform the public by conducting research which is designed to achieve a specific result in order to promote a commercial enterprise. All this under the stewardship of Minister Simon Coveney who continues to ignore real science in favour of that of Mr. D. Jackson . NSFAS believe that a public inquiry should be conducted immediately into the conduct of the Marine Institute, its Board and Officers due to its continued promotion of questionable scientific reports.

For further information, please contact Damien O’Brien (087) 7673157 or e-mail

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