Connacht Tribune, 1 April 2015: TD adds voice of opposition to proposed fish farm

TD adds voice of opposition to proposed fish farm


Connacht Tribune, 1 April 2015



A Galway TD has called on the Labour Ministers in Government to ensure that the application for a giant fish farm In Galway Bay is rejected – in line with the party’s own recently adopted policy.

Deputy Noel Grealish – who warned that the development could put 1,000 jobs at risk in the angling tourism sector – has written to each of the five senior Labour Ministers asking that they persuade the Minister for Agriculture to refuse this application.

The Galway West Independent TD criticised the refusal of Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to be drawn on the issue when he raised it with him in the Dáil.

Deputy Grealish had asked the Minister if he planned to refuse the application for a 15,000 tonne caged salmon farm on the basis of the Labour Party passing a motion at its annual conference calling on the Government to ensure no caged salmon fish farms be allowed off the west coast.

However, Mr Coveney fudged the matter, said Deputy Grealish, by saying it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the application.

The Minister said the application by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) submitted in 2012 was under active consideration and a decision would be made following the completion of the necessary assessment process.

“This assessment process will take full account of all national and EU legislative requirements and will reflect the full engineering, scientific, environmental, legal and public policy aspects of the application.

“As the application is under active consideration as part of the statutory process it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time,” added Mr Coveney.

Deputy Grealish said the Minister’s response was not acceptable. “How can the Government possibly consider allowing this fish farm to go ahead when one of the Coalition partners has effectively adopted a policy of opposition to such developments on the basis that wild Atlantic salmon are in danger of extinction?” he asked.

“This controversial development is opposed by many groups and organisations in the West of Ireland because of the potential threat it poses to the thriving angling tourism industry in the region.

“While BIM predict that 200 jobs will be created by this fish farm, the reality is that it puts a thousand jobs or more at risk in this vital area of employment.”

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