Press Release 12 March 2014: Marine Institute’s rebuttal of research criticisms fails to offer answers or insights

Press Release: Marine Institute’s rebuttal of research criticisms fails to offer answers or insights

12 March 2014

A recent statement issued by the Marine Institute, following publication of rebuttal in the Journal of Fish Diseases that defends Dr Jackson’s heavily criticised research, is misleading and deceptive concludes a Save Bantry Bay commentary published today.

The statement, authored by Dr Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, claims that the Journal of Fish Diseases has apologised for publishing the critique of the work of Dr Jackson, Senior Fisheries Inspector at the Marine Institute, and that the critique has been ‘downgraded’. When read more closely, the apology is for nothing more than an administrative error that meant Jackson’s response wasn’t published alongside the critique. What is more, at no point does it suggest the critique was ‘downgraded’ or that there are any errors in the critique.

Dr. Heffernan states “In our rebuttal, we strongly reject Krkosek et al.’s claim that there were statistical errors in the original Marine Institute paper.”

Krkosek et al’s claim was that there were ‘three fundamental errors’ in Jackson’s work.

Dr Heffernan goes on to claim that ‘a similar study carried out in Norway by Skilbrei et al. (2013) which used the same methodology, was also peer reviewed, and reported similar findings to those of the Marine Institute.’ In fact, while Jackson suggested sea lice had little, if any impact on salmon conservation, the Norwegian study concluded the opposite, showing not just a mild, but a moderate effect on salmon conservation.

‘At no point either in the heavily criticised original article, or the rebuttal to the criticism of his work, has Dr Jackson sought to offer insights into the true impact of sea lice from salmon farms on wild salmon populations. Dr Heffernan is supporting research papers produced by Dr. Jackson’ which contradict the vast cohort of science available on the subject, yet backs a government policy to expand salmon farming.’ said Alec O’Donovan Secretary of Save Bantry Bay.

‘It seems that in a bid restore their reputation the Marine Institute are exaggerating this apology and suggesting other studies back theirs when they don’t’, added Kieran O’Shea, Chairman of Save Bantry Bay. ‘This begs the question, why are they doing this?’


Secretary, Save Bantry Bay, Alec O’Donovan, 087 7949227 (mobile) or 027 50508

Chair, Save Bantry Bay, Kieran O’Shea, 086 1280303 (mobile) or 027 60121

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