As the Southern Star reports, the groups have asked for a review of the current licensing requirements for aquaculture schemes to ensure that the process is transparent and open to independent review - amid news that both local TDs and State agencies are squabbling over the issue.
"To have a single minister responsible for all these stages of an industry that has such serious pollution issues associated with it, as well as the potential to devastate valuable salmon and sea trout stocks, is inappropriate and open to abuse," argues Alec O'Donovan of Save Bantry Bay, one of the groups in an alliance that include local tourism, angling and environmental interests.
Group chairman Kieran O'Shea singled out for criticism the Department of the Marine's apparent determination to push forward with Bord Iascaigh Mhara's (BIM) fish farm plans in spite of a moratorium on further development of salmon farming three years ago at EU level.
"This not only makes a mockery of EU law but highlights a worrying lack of concern for the environment," said O'Shea.
Meanwhile, another opposition group has spoken out over a letter of support for the fish farm plans by Irish seafood producers and other businesses.
According to the Galway Independent, Brian Curran Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages (GBASC) claimed the letter - signed by 43 firms, only six of which are directly involved in food production in Galway - was a "set-up".
A spokesperson for BIM dismissed Curran's comments as being "in very poor taste" in seeking "to undermine the intentions or credibility of anyone who would go out of their way to place their support for the proposal 'on the record'."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 500-hectare development off Inis Óirr in the Aran Islands would be the largest of its kind in Europe.