Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages Press Release: Draft National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development
25 June 2015
Following initial assessment of the recently published Sustainable Aquaculture Development (Draft) Plan by the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages (GBASC) believes that the Minister is planning to grant a licence for a smaller installation in Galway Bay of 5,000 tonnes. This is a ruse to start small but to subsequently raise the threshold to the long planned capacity of 30,000 tonnes or 14.4 million salmon.
GBASC would like to inform Minister Coveney that we will oppose any size salmon farm in Galway Bay, whether it be a 5 tonne or a 15,000 tonne farm.
Minister Coveney can put as many regulations as he likes on paper, but we know from past experience that they will never be implemented, as salmon farmers will do what they like, when they like without any fear of sanctions.
There are at present 19 salmon farms operating without having their licences renewed as no Appropriate Assessments have been carried out, also a number of farms are overstocked and breaking the conditions of their original licences. Cage structure regulations have been broken, safety regulations have been broken, environmental regulations have been broken, fresh water has been taken illegally without planning permission.
Minister Coveney is naive if he thinks that by putting 24 recommendations/regulations on paper that he can make open sea cage salmon farming sustainable and environmentally friendly and that salmon farmers will abide by these rules.
Open sea cage salmon farming can never be sustainable when it takes 3 to 5 tonnes of wild fish to produce 1 ton of fish feed, when its use of toxic pesticides kills Shrimp, Prawn, Lobster and Crab, when its sea lice infestations, escapes of non-native fish, disease/virus transmission wipe out wild salmon and sea trout, when it causes pollution from large and concentrated volumes of manure into the marine environment, when it displaces Inshore fishing and tourist angling jobs.
We have said it before and we say it again, there are 32,000 + tonnes capacity salmon farm licences in Ireland and the salmon farmers have over the last number of years, only been able to produce approximately 10,000 tonnes, so why do we need any more licences.
GBASC say the only alternative is to build land-based, closed-containment fish farms, a cleaner and more socially acceptable way to undertake aquaculture in Ireland which will help restore our wild salmon and sea trout stocks to abundance and create many more sustainable jobs.
Salmon farming will never feed the world because it kills more fish biomass (to make fishmeal for feed) than it produces. Aquaculture is the biggest consumer of fishmeal worldwide. The industry has to grow continuously to satisfy shareholders, and so pressure on wild forage fish continues to grow.
Chairman Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages,
10 Colemans Rd,
Brian Curran PRO