Save Bantry Bay – Letters to Newspaper Editors
SBB have written to both the Irish Times and Irish Examiner following recent statements in these papers by IFA, the Marine Institute and Simon Coveney suggesting rather than escaping alive, 230,000 salmon died and disintegrated:
Letter to the Editor: Irish Times, 31 March 2014
It is with interest I read your article ‘Up to 230,000 farmed fish lost in February storm’ on 31 March 2014.
While we are pleased the escapes have finally been recognised, for the last two months we have been dismissed and treated with the same ‘disgust’ as those who raised concerns in recent Department of Justice and Garda Síochána controversies. There is the same culture of obstruction, denial and disdain in government authorities and state agencies in the salmon farming debate. It is extraordinary that it has taken two months for numbers of escaped salmon to be revealed. Even now government agencies are attempting to deny these escapes, claiming all salmon and dead and ‘vanished’. There is not one bit of evidence to back these claims. Instead, there is an arrogance and refusal to listen to anyone who questions salmon farming policy.
For the Marine Institute and Irish Farmers Association to claim a quarter of a million salmon can vanish is absurd. I am a 3rd generation lobster potter and can confirm that it takes more than two weeks for dead fish to disintegrate and be eaten by scavengers in a pot or net at these water temperatures. For 230,000 to dead salmon to vanish from the nets by the time the well boat arrived at the site is a nonsense. Had the dead salmon become loose from the nets you’d expect reports of them floating at the surface or washing up on shores. It was the same time as the salmon farm escapes that two tourists went missing and the coastguards were out searching the bay by boat, helicopter and car. Yet nothing was reported.
Until these agencies have evidence to support their claims, they should stop making unsubstantiated statements. It is an abuse of their position of authority.
Save Bantry Bay,
Letter to the Editor: Irish Examiner, 31 March 2014
Your article ‘Simon Coveney: Weather delayed collection of fish’ highlights the culture of obstruction, denial and disdain that Government authorities display when any organisation questions their ‘voice of authority’.
Just as with the recent controversies in the Department of Justice and Garda Síochána, those opposed to salmon farming have been dismissed and disregarded when attempting to draw the public’s attention to Ireland’s largest ever escape of farmed salmon.
The entire event has been virtually ignored for two months, and now finally it has been acknowledged misinformation is being spun.
For the Marine Institute, Minister Coveney and the Irish Farmers Association to claim that 230,000 salmon have ‘disintegrated’ and ‘dispersed’ in the space of a couple of weeks is ludicrous. I am a third generation lobster potter, and know that at these water temperatures a single fish used as bait in a salmon pot can survive for this time and longer.
A well boat designed to gather salmon from cages, visited the site of the escape on 18 February – just over two weeks after the event. Not one fish was retrieved indicating nets were empty.
Coastguards were scouring the bay for these two weeks, as two tourists had tragically gone missing. No sightings dead salmon floating on the surface or washing up on shores were reported. With a quarter of a million dead fish missing you’d expect to see a few.
There is not one piece of evidence suggesting these fish died. All we know are 230,000 fish are no longer in the salmon farm, nor the vicinity. Until these figures of authority have the evidence to back up their claims, they must stop abusing their positions of authority and making such unsubstantiated claims.
Save Bantry Bay,
The original articles can be found at:
Irish Times, Sun 30 March 2014 Up to 230,000 farmed fish lost in February storm
Irish Examiner, Mon 31 March 2014 Simon Coveney: Weather delayed collection of fish and Salmon farm escape – Alarm bells ringing again