Irish Times, 17 July 2013: Marine Institute defends scientific study on wild salmon

Irish Times, 17 July 2013: Marine Institute defends scientific study on wild salmon

Research had been criticised by groups opposing fish farms.

The Marine Institute said it “stands firmly over all peer-reviewed scientific papers published by its staff and we support open access to high-quality research”.

By Lorna Siggins

Wednesday 17 July 2013

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The Marine Institute has said it stands over a scientific paper written by its staff, published in an international journal, which has been the subject of criticism.

The study by Dr Dave Jackson and colleagues at the institute, published in l Agricultural Sciencesl, found no correlation between aquaculture and the performance of nearby wild salmon stocks.

It identified pollution and the quality of freshwater habitats as the “key driver” in the status of wild salmon stocks.

Last week, State agency Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) said it had “serious concerns” about the methodology and findings of the study, while non-governmental organisations Friends of the Irish Environment, Salmon Watch Ireland and No Salmon Farms at Sea (NSFAS) were also highly critical of it.

NSFAS said the study was a “source of misinformation” and accused the institute of spending taxpayers’ money to pay for its publication, while Salmon Watch Ireland said it was “suspected” that there “may not be unanimity” among Marine Institute scientists on the subject of impact of sea lice on wild salmon and sea trout.

IFI, Salmon Watch Ireland, FIE and NSFAS are all opposed to Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s plans for a 15,000-tonne organic fish farm in Galway Bay.

The Marine Institute said it “stands firmly over all peer-reviewed scientific papers published by its staff and we support open access to high-quality research”.

The paper, Evaluation of the Impacts of Aquaculture and Freshwater Habitat on the Status of Atlantic Salmon Stocks in Ireland, is available to download at: http://www.scirp.org/journal/as/

Full article http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/marine-institute-defends-scientific-study-on-wild-salmon-1.1466456

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