Irish Times, 13 Feb 2014: Gusts of up to 160 km per hour cause further damage on west coast

Gusts of up to 160 km per hour cause further damage on west coast

Irish Times, 13 Feb 2014

Fishing industry may have lost €30 million due to weather, industry says

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Fish farm
In west Cork, the owner of a fish farm near Bantry said the weather was too bad to check the extent of damage sustained when a cage pulled its moorings and upended into another cage during storm conditions on February 1st, and he had no estimate for the number of salmon which might have escaped.

Local environmentalists believe up to 60,000 to 80,000 fish may have escaped, with a negative impact on the wild salmon population.

In answer to a Daíl question yesterday, Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney said a fish escape is “likely to have occurred”, but cannot be confirmed definitively until weather eases and a visual inspection takes place.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and Marine is to hear a report from Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine officials today on the impact of the weather on the sector, while Mr Coveney said in the Daíl yesterday that he was introducing a temporary one-off assistance scheme to provide some 40 per cent of the replacement cost for gear lost by pot fishermen.

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