Press Release: Europe concludes aquaculture contributes little to growth and employment
17 Sept 2014
A report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reveals that measures to support development of aquaculture ‘were not well designed and implemented’, ‘failed to deliver value for money’’ and ‘contributed little to growth and employment’.
The report concludes the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and European Fisheries Fund (EFF) did not provide a suitable framework to develop the sector; and there is a lack of guidance from the European Commission on key environmental issues.
Kevin Cardiff, of the ECA stated “environmental and health risks were not considered sufficiently in funding decisions for aquaculture”. He added the ECA recommends the European Commission should establish guidelines for the consideration of relevant environmental facts when determining public funding, and noted the Commission has already indicated that it will act on various recommendations.
Kieran O’Shea, Chairman of Save Bantry Bay states ‘We are hugely relieved the inadequate consideration to environmental and health issues in aquaculture has been recognised at European level. We have been saying this for some time only for our concerns to be dismissed by Simon Coveney’s Department for Agriculture, Food and Marine, and the Marine Institute. We look forward to the European Commission’s response and greater guidance on these matters, for we cannot rely on national authorities to ensure the protection of our environment’.
Only two years ago the Court of Auditors in Norway, Europe’s largest salmon farming nation, published a report with very similar conclusions. Norwegian auditor General Jørgen Kosmo noted “the aquaculture industry is facing significant environmental challenges, among other things in the form of high figures for escaped fish, salmon lice and extensive losses due to disease. The extent of these and other environmental challenges is so great that it is necessary to strengthen the management of aquaculture in order to ensure environmental sustainability and the possibility of future growth in the industry”.
Alec O’Donovan, Secretary of Save Bantry Bay remarked ‘Current salmon farming policy in Ireland is a case of “jobs at any price”. Our government, BIM and industry continue to argue salmon farming will be the economic salvation of remote coastal rural communities like the Beara Peninsula. At no point have they listened to the counter arguments that show little economic sense in developing the highly polluting salmon farming industry at the cost of local home grown businesses in angling, inshore fishing, tourism and marine leisure. Nor do they appear willing to learn from other countries mistakes, instead blindly pushing their salmon farm agenda with a total disregard for either economic or environmental sustainability. At last the higher authorities in Europe have recognised that aquaculture “contributes little to growth and employment”. Now for the Irish authorities to wake up and smell the coffee.’
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
Notes for Editors:
- European Court of Auditors Press Release
- Full report ‘The effectiveness of European Fisheries Fund support for aquaculture’: http://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/SR14_10/QJAB14010ENC.pdf
- The Office of the Auditor General of Norway’s investigation into the management of aquaculture https://www.riksrevisjonen.no/en/Reports/Pages/aquaculture.aspx