Press Release: Marine Harvest ignore local concerns
14 April 2015
Marine Harvest’s response to the latest round of objections regarding the proposed Shot Head salmon farm contains no new information to address concerns raised by local residents, businesses and environmentalists. Adding insult to injury, Marine Harvest continue to claim that they’ve undertaken an adequate public consultation.
‘Marine Harvest have once more failed listen’ stated Kieren O’Shea, Chair of Save Bantry Bay and third generation fisherman. ‘Not a single living person in the parish has been consulted, even when hundreds of voices have made clear their concerns. We continue to be patronised with same old rhetoric.’
Over 40 new objections were received at the end of 2014. Many raise new concerns regarding the proposed salmon farm, particularly in relation to the suitability of the site. These come in light of 230,000 salmon escaping in 2014 from an existing farm. The farm from which the salmon escaped is located in a much more sheltered spot in Bantry Bay only a few kilometres across from the proposed Shot Head facility. Locals fear that by placing an additional salmon farm in such an exposed area will only lead to an additional disaster. The cumulative effect of further salmon farm escapes could spell an end to wild salmon in the area, and in turn an end to the angling industry.
Further concerns regarding highly protected sea otters in the area of the farm have been raised. Under EU wildlife regulations an ‘Appropriate Assessment’ of any site where sea otters roam is required, whether or not the area is designated for their protection of this species. However, this has not been undertaken and again Marine Harvest has failed to responded to this concern raised.
‘Marine Harvest have shown a total disregard for local opinion’ added Alec O’Donnovan Secretary of Save Bantry Bay and keen angler.
‘The weight of research and local opinion goes against the further development of open cage salmon farming. It is time for Ireland and companies like Marine Harvest to wake up and smell the coffee. We need to look to the future and invest in genuinely sustainable technologies. Land based salmon farming is rapidly advancing. Many countries around the world now operating such facilities, and proving they are both technically and economically viable’ added Alec. ‘If we want our seafood industry to genuinely thrive, and create sustainable long-term jobs, we must move with the times’
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:
For Marine Harvest Documentation see: http://www.marineharvestireland.com