Friends of the Irish Environment Press Release: BIM’s defence of pesticide contradicts Irish Medicines Board Product should ‘not be allowed to contaminate water’

BIM’s defence of pesticide contradicts Irish Medicines Board Product should ‘not be allowed to contaminate water’



28 JULY 2013

BIM Aquaculture Manager Donal Maguire’s recent statement to the media that ‘cypermethrin has been fully tested in the marine environment for toxicology to ensure it is safe’ is in direct contradiction to the Irish Medicines Board [IMB] and the manufacturer’s warnings, according to the Friends of the Irish Environment [see editors notes for references].

Cypermethrine is used for the control of sea lice on all Irish salmon farms, including the proposed ‘organic’ Galway Bay mega-farm. BIM is awaiting the Minister’s decision on its application for a salmon farm in Galway Bay that will double national production of farmed salmon.

The Friends cite the IMB product description which states that cypermethrin is ‘dangerous to fish and other aquatic life’ and instructs ‘Do not contaminate ponds, waterways or ditches with the product or used containers. The product should not be allowed to contaminate water.’

‘The Data Safety Sheet states that ‘According to Directive 67/548/EEC [Dangerous substances Directive] and 1999/45/EC [Dangerous Preparations Directive] cypermethrin is ‘Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.’

In a statement the Friends say that ‘Cypermethrin is a biocide which kills life, not a medicine which saves lives. The sea lice it teats are not an ‘ailment’, as BIM suggests – they are an infestation of parasites. Cypermethrin is a chemical used with the ‘intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on, any harmful organism’.

‘It is a highly ecotoxic active neurotoxin. There are known effects on fish and, most sensitive of all, crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters. Bathers and watersports may also be at risk. For this reason, the manufacturers clearly indicate that there should be no release to environment.’

According to the Galway Bay EIS, ‘The volume of chemical used to treat a pen is estimated at 3,333 cubic metres’. For comparison, an Olympic swimming pool holds 2,500 cubic metres. This will be discharged directly into the (once) natural waters of our Bays under BIM’s ‘organic certification’, creating massive biocide plumes without any attempt to formalise the environmental risk assessment within the existing EU legal framework.

‘Mr. Maguire’s position and that of BIM is without any scientific justification and contradicts the IMB and the manufacturers’ warnings. BIM have not even undertaken a base line study of lobster and crabs in Galway Bay’, Friends’ Director Tony Lowes pointed out.

Verification and further information: Tony Lowes 027 74771 / 087 2176316

Irish Medicines Board Information sheet

Data Safety Sheet

Click to access Tenopa_29_04_12.pdf

Media statement by BIM

Thursday, 25 July 2013 13:50

BIM defends use of pesticides at proposed Galway Bay fish farm

Galway bay fm newsroom – Bord Iascaigh Mhara has defended the use of an active ingredient within a veterinary medicine to be used at a proposed Galway Bay fish farm off Inis Oirr.

It follows concerns raised by campaign group Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages that a pesticide containing cypermethrin to be used at the farm could pose a toxic threat to aquatic organisms.

BIM has applied for a deep sea salmon farming licence at a site roughly six kilometes off Inis Oirr, which it argues could create hundreds of jobs.

It states that there are a number of licenced veterinary medicines permitted for use for the treatment of ailments in salmon farming.

It adds that cypermethrin is an active ingredient in one of these trade medicines which is used for the treatment of sea lice.

Speaking to Galway Bay fm news, Aquaculture Manager Donal Maguire says it has been fully tested in the marine environment for toxicology to ensure it is safe

Galway Bay FM

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