STATEMENT BY DEREK NOLAN TD, 9 Oct 2014: GALWAY BAY SALMON FARM CARRIES TOO MANY RISKS – NOLAN

STATEMENT BY DEREK NOLAN TDGALWAY BAY SALMON FARM CARRIES TOO MANY RISKS – NOLAN

TD for Galway West

Thursday, 9th October 2014

 

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Galway West TD Derek Nolan has said that there are too many risks associated with the salmon farm which has been proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) for Galway Bay. Speaking on the matter, Deputy Nolan said, “Granting a licence for this fish farm, the application for which is currently on the Minister for Agriculture’s desk, would jeopardise not only the environment, but also the local fishing and angling industry. “Fishing and angling is a vitally important industry in the West of Ireland and I believe that we need to protect the integrity of that sector. The issue of sea lice has been brought up again and again as a risk associated with large-scale salmon farms and the negative effect that this can have on wild salmon and sea trout stocks.

“There is a huge amount of local fisherman and fishing companies located in the region and their livelihoods must not be threatened. Furthermore, the unique environment of the West of Ireland is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every single year who go there for the beautiful angling and fishing locations. If the wild stocks of fish are affected, we will have a serious problem. This industry must be protected and allowed to flourish.

“In applications where there is a significant impact on the environment, an independent environmental impact study, at the very least, much be carried out. The study used to inform this application is largely based on a report by the Marine Institute – a State body, which cannot be seen to be acting completely independently. Inland Fisheries Ireland have expressed concerns as to the usefulness of the report.

“From researching this issue and listening to the rational, well-thought out and legitimate concerns expressed to me by my constituents, it is clear that this new licence should be refused.

“I have always had concerns about this application but refrained from publically stating so, allowing the Minister to time to review the application. However, new information coming to light this year showed that hundreds of thousands of farmed salmon escaped from a farm in Bantry bay, and were unaccounted for. I feel there is now too much evidence showing the negative impact this salmon farm could have on Galway Bay.

“I have written to the Minister Coveney and have called on him to reject this application and protect the indigenous fishing industry, and the wider environment, in Galway Bay.

ENDS

Contact: Derek Nolan 086 3777624

Twitter: @dereknolantd

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