Marine Harvest's expansion plans for super-size salmon feedlots off the Irish coast are being met with fierce resistance. Public opposition to salmon farming was on display at a public meeting in Bantry Bay last week (23 November).
People queued up to sign the 'Declaration for Wild Salmon' which will be delivered to Norway in March.
"Stop fish farms now!" was the message from fisherman Damien O'Brien.
"Save Galway Bay!" said Ruairi O Cualain yesterday (25 November) following a visit to the site of a proposed 15,000 tonne "organic" salmon farm off Aran Islands in Galway Bay.
The Irish Government - who are rabidly promoting the disease-ridden salmon farming industry via the agency Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) - plan to establish the world's largest salmon farm slap bang in front of the iconic Cliffs of Moher and off 'Craggy Island' from TV's Father Ted. Locals warn that the plan is fraught with dangers and is heading for the rocks.
The Irish Times reported today (26 November):
Another article in today's Irish Times focussed on the "supersized salmon farming unit off Inis Orr in Galway Bay". "In the past, salmon farms were considered large when they were licensed to harvest 2,000 tonnes, the current proposal is for a farm harvesting 15,000 tonnes," wrote Derek Evans. "It will bring a plethora of problems, beginning with the size of its annual output and the 'baggage' that entails if and when it moves into unchartered waters."
Read article online via "Concerns over size of proposed new salmon farm in Galway Bay"
The Irish Independent also reports today:
Another article in today's Irish Examiner includes:
Read in full via "Outspoken opponent of fish-farming rallies support"
Marine Harvest's plans to establish an "organic" salmon farm at Shot Head, near another Marine Harvest salmon farm in Bantry Bay, have succeeded only in galvanising opposition to salmon farming across Ireland.
"While the meeting was organized by Save Bantry Bay, the local group set up to oppose the expansion of Marine Harvests operation at Shot Head in Bantry Bay, it was attended by residents from many parts of Ireland," reported Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment.
"Fish farming opponents from Galway and the Aran Islands who are opposed to BIM’s application for the largest fish farm in Europe proposed for Galway Bay joined others from Kerry, where BIM has recently proposed another super sized fish farm for Ballydavid. Anglers and environmentalists from many counties and organisation, including Monahan, Louth, Wexford, and Donegal supported the speakers from the floor. At an informal meeting afterwards, 25 representatives of the different groups agreed that they would return to their organizations to seek approval to hold a protest meeting outside Minister Simon Coveney’s constituency office next month and to initiate a campaign against the purchase by the public of farmed salmon."
"Anglers, environmentalist, tourism and water sports interests are considering launching a campaign to ask the public to boycott smoked salmon this Christmas to support their campaign against salmon farms along the Irish Coast," said Friends of the Irish Environment in a press release (25 November). "‘Not buying smoked salmon for Christmas would be giving a gift to the environment’, one of the protestors said."
Speaking at the public meeting in Bantry Bay (23 November), Don Staniford said: "People across the world are rising up like a wild salmon against Norwegian-owned filthy feedlots. There can be no compromise in the defence of wild salmon - and that means fighting Marine Harvest's expansion plans in Bantry Bay, Galway Bay and Clare Island."
Elly Edwards of Wild Salmon First, who has brought a flag and 'Declaration for Wild Salmon' from Canada, said: "Wild salmon literally give up their lives to feed the bears, eagles, orcas and forests in British Columbia. We need to join forces and take a stand against the Norwegian-owned salmon farming industry. Wild salmon must be put first."
Irland News reported (23 November) that "In 40 year salmon farming will be no more":
The end of the line for salmon farming may well be coming up faster than you can say "there's not plenty more fish in the sea" but companies are looking at Ireland for one final assault on the marine environment. The Irish Times reported last month that 17 companies, "including some from Norway", were seeking to establish the world's largest "organic" salmon farm in Galway Bay:
At a public meeting (24 November) on Inisheer in the Aran Islands - next to the proposed 15,000 tonne super-sized salmon feedlot - locals expressed their outrage.
Dr. Roderick O'Sullivan, author of the first report on the environmental impacts of Irish salmon farming back in 1988, spoke of the inherent risks of locating a salmon farm in the waters of Galway Bay. "This salmon farm application is a disaster waiting to happen," said Dr. O'Sullivan. "Waste pollution, the spread of infectious diseases and chemical contamination are inevitable."
Earlier this month (1 November), the Galway Advertiser reported that "a storm is brewing":
In July, Galway Bay FM reported that five salmon farms in South Connemara had been "consolidated" into one salmon farm licence following sea lice infestation problems. Bradán Beo Teoranta took over licences previously held by DCMI Golam Teo, Muirachmhainni Teo, Eisc Ui Fhlatharta Teo, Eisc Iathglas Teo and Muir Gheal Teo. Irish salmon farms, like those in Scotland, Norway, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, are getting bigger and bigger.
If anyone can take on the super-sized salmon farms it's the fightin' Irish. Now that the Irish Government's own agency, Inland Fisheries Ireland, have thrown their weight against the proposal this heavyweight fight is well and truly on!
Read online via "Agencies clash over salmon farm plans"
The Donegal Democrat reported yesterday (25 November):
Watch this space for more details as GAAIA and Wild Salmon First fly the flag for wild salmon across Ireland!
Read the Donegal News (30 November) - online here
Read Dr. Roderick O'Sullivan writing in The Connacht Tribune (7 December) - online here: