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Displaying items by tag: Aran Islands

#FishFarm - A Galway county councillor has declared his reservations over the proposed deep-water organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Cllr Jim Cuddy said at this week's meeting of Galway County Council that concerns had been expressed to him by angling interests over plans for the 500-hectare aquaculture scheme in Galway Bay and its potential effects on wild salmon stocks.

His motion, which was seconded by Cllr Thomás O'Curraoin, comes in the same week as 13 seafood companies based in the City of the Tribes showed their support for the fish farm plans in letters of support to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

As reported earlier this week on Afloat.ie, two West Galway TDs were at loggerheads over the proposals, the planning application for which is still under consideration.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarm - Galway Bay FM reports that two West Galway TDs are at loggerheads over the proposed deep-water organic salmon farm for Galway Bay.

Eámon Ó Cuív of Fianna Fáil says Marine Minister Simon Coveney is showing inappropriate support for the aquaculture scheme proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

In response, Fine Gael deputy Seán Kyne reiterated the minister's own Dáil statement earlier this month that procedure would be followed 'to the letter' and that he could not take sides on the matter.

According to Galway Bay FM, the application for the 500-hectare fish farm, to be located off the Aran Islands, is still under consideration.

If greenlit, the facility would be the largest of its kind in Europe and would double the State's production rate of very profitable organic salmon.

But the plans have faced opposition from Inland Fisheries Ireland and local anglers, many of whom joined a 2,000-strong protest against the project in Galway city centre on 2 March.

Published in Galway Harbour

#AranIslands - Galway Bay FM reports that the Government is seeking EU permission to extend for another year the public service contract for the daily air service to the Aran Islands which expires in August

The €6-million contract provides for three daily return flights to Inis Mór and daily returns to Inis Meain and Inis Oírr (two on weekdays and four on weekends) in Galway Bay from Connemara Airport.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarm - The Government 'will follow procedure to the letter' regarding the proposed €100-million deep sea fish farm for Galway Bay.

That was the message from Marine Minister Simon Coveney in the Dáil last week, as reported by Galway Bay FM, after it emerged that more than 400 submissions on plans for the State's largest ever aquaculture scheme were made to the his department.

The Dáil discussions came just days after a public protest against the fish farm plans in Galway - and some months after the National Inland Fisheries Forum lambasted as "flawed" the consent process regarding the proposed development.

Some 2,000 people amassed in opposition to the 500-hectare organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), which if it gets the go-ahead would be the largest facility of its type in Europe and would double the State's production rate of organic salmon - one of Ireland's most profitable export foodstuffs.

BIM has previously accused environmental campaigners of being "deliberately alarmist" about the fish farm, despite concerns raised my Inland Fisheries Ireland over the potential impact of sea lice infestations on wild salmon in the bay.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the Galway Advertiser last week, Attymon resident Gabe Cronolly criticises a BIM leaflet informing the public of its proposals.

"The leaflet states that sea lice can only be held responsible for one per cent of salmon losses at sea, but fail to report that 39 per cent of mortalities in fish farms are attributed to sea lice," he writes.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarm - As many as 2,000 people attended the protest in Galway against the proposed deep sea fish farm off the Aran Islands at the weekend.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the demonstration was organised by Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages on Saturday 2 March in opposition to the 500-hectare organic salmon farm proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

Among the speakers on the day, as The Irish Times reports, was Icelandic salmon conservationist Orri Vigfusson, who claimed the fish farm could interfere with the migration of salmon smolts from both Ireland and the rest of Europe.

GBASC vice-chairman Tommy Casserly also spoke, referring to the fish farm project as "a toxic cloud containing seven million caged salmon with all those faeces and chemicals and lice, between the Atlantic and 15,000 wild salmon which come through these waters".

Later in the day a delegation attempted to hand a letter of protest to BIM staff attending the Skipper Expo in the city, but said it was refused.

If the Galway Bay fish farm project gets the go-ahead, it would be the largest aquaculture facility of its type in Europe and would double the State's production rate of organic salmon.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

#Fishfarm - Galway Bay FM reports that a major protest is set to take place in Galway this weekend against the proposed deep sea fish farm off the Aran Islands.

Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages is organising the demonstration from Eyre Square on Saturday 2 March at noon in opposition to the 500-hectare organic salmon farm proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

The facility, to be located off Inis Oírr in Galway Bay, would be the largest of its kind in Europe and would double the State's production rate of organic salmon, cited by BIM as Ireland's leading organic food export.

However, the scheme has been facing strong opposition from fisheries groups and local anglers citing the potential environmental impact on wild salmon numbers and the threat to tourism in the area.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is among those bodies that have expressed concern over the fish farm plans, citing research on the effect of sea lice emanating from aquaculture facilities on the mortality rate of wild Atlantic salmon.

BIM responded to news of the protest by stating such action may be unnecessary due to the appeal mechanism available in the State's decision process.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarm - RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland reports on last night's public meeting in Galway on the proposed deep sea fish farm in Galway Bay.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 500-hectare organic salmon farm proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) would be located off Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands, and would be the largest of its kind in Europe, set to double the State's production rate of organic salmon.

BIM's aquaculture development manager Donal McGuire moved to reassure concerned locals that the agency was "not about to damage [its] reputation" by "doing something foolish or doing something that will cause serious environmental damage".

McGuire added that organic salmon is Ireland's leading organic food export but is in "very very short supply", and that business would be lost to producers in Scotland and Norway.

However, the scheme has faced strong opposition from fisheries groups and local anglers citing the potential environmental impact on wild salmon numbers and the threat to tourism in the area.

At last night's meeting, RTE's western correspondent Pat McGrath says just two of the more than 100 in attendance spoke in support of the fish farm plans.

Another public meeting on the proposals is scheduled for tonight in Rossaveal.

BIM is expected to hold a public tender process for the proposed salmon farm project pending approval by Marine Minister Simon Coveney.

Published in Fishing

#Ferries - Ferry fares for people travelling between Inis Mór in the Aran Islands and the mainland are set to almost double from tomorrow 1 February, as RTÉ News reports.

Island Ferries founder Paddy O'Brien has cited increased fuel costs for the sharp fare rise from €8 to €15 for return trips from the largest island in the group in Galway Bay.

Fares for residents of Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin are also rising by 25% after an increase in the annual subvention to provide ferry services to the islands sought by Island Ferries was not accepted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The department had failed to secure any tenders for a public service contract on the Aran Islands ferry service, the present contracts for which expire today.

Published in Ferry

#Angling - Anglers on the River Feale in Kerry and Limerick have been assured by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that it supports their concerns over the proposed deep-sea fish farm in Galway Bay, as the Limerick Leader reports.

Local anglers are among those throughout the region who have rallied in opposition to plans for the Aran Islands fish farm project, over fears that it would lead to “an explosion” in parasitic sea lice which would prey on wild inland salmon from Irish rivers feeding in the North Atlantic.

IFI reiterated its statement issued last month in which its board said it does not believe "that the corpus of peer reviewed international scientific literature which recognises the negative impacts of sea lice on salmonids have been adequately dealt with" in the Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) as part of the public consultation process.

A spokesperson for IFI told the Limerick Leader that the authority has "major concerns about the location and scale [of the farm], as well as its potential impact on sea life. [IFI] is not supporting it in its current form.”

Earlier this month the National Inland Fisheries Forum also criticised as "flawed" the consent process regarding the 15,000-tonne organic salmon farm planned off Inis Oirr, which would be the largest of its kind in Europe.

If approved, the operation could more than double Ireland's current production rate of farmed salmon.

The Limerick Leader has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#FishFarm - The National Inland Fisheries Forum (NIFF) has criticised as "flawed" the consent process regarding the proposed deep-sea fish farm in Galway Bay which has stirred much controversy in recent weeks.

In a letter to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as part of the public consultation process, NIFF chair Derek Davis writes that the forum "considers the consent process to be flawed" as a result of "the decision making function being exercised by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food" in a number of circumstances, including where:

  • the applicant - Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) - "has several appointees of the said minister at board level";
  • the State fisheries board "receives funding and policy directions from the minister's department";
  • public announcements made on the proposals and related concerns "indicate pre-judging of the issues";
  • any appeal following the minister's decision "would be dealt with by appointees of the minister"; and where
  • the "specific statutory basis" on which BIM authorises aquaculture operations "has not been adequately set out".

 

The letter reiterates Inland Fisheries Ireland's (IFI) criticisms of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) carried out on the proposed location of the 15,000-tonne organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands, stating the NIFF's believe that the document "is deficient in a number of areas" such as not adequately addressing wild salmon migration routes, and making presumptions on the potential impact of sea lice and escaped farmed salmon on adjacent fisheries.

The forum also has concerns regarding the public consultation itself, noting that requests for "specific scientific information used to underpin statements in the EIS" have not been followed through.

"The forum believes that on the basis of the information supplied, the minister is not in a position to make a positive decision on this application," writes Davis. "To do so would represent a failure to adhere to the precautionary principle" which applies "where there is uncertainty as to the existence or extent of risks".

The letter in full is available as a PDF to download HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour
Page 12 of 16

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