17th September 2013 - '
Friends of the Irish Environment' Press Release.
OMBUDSMAN TO INVESTIGATE SEA LICE COVERUP
The Irish Ombudsman’s office has opened an investigation into possible mal-administration by the Department of Agriculture Food and Fisheries [DAFF] during the recent EU investigation into sea lice and salmon farms. The decision comes after an examination of an extensive dossier provided by the environmental group Friends of the Irish Environment. The investigation will determine whether DAFF intentionally withheld information from the European Commission, thereby influencing the outcome of EU investigations. During their investigation the European Commission sought the ‘express views of the agency responsible for wild fisheries’. Inland Fisheries Ireland [IFI] provided these views to DAFF in October 2010, strongly criticising the position DAFF had made to the Commission. However, in November 2011 DAFF told the Commission they had not received any IFI Report. The IFI Report stated that the Irish system ‘does not constitute good sea lice control’. It said DAFF’s position that ‘no empirical evidence has been made available suggesting the presence of sea lice in salmon fish farms has a significant impact on the protected species’ is ‘not consistent with available information’. It concluded that ‘the potential exists for sea lice transfer from farmed salmon to outward migrating wild salmon smolts in any estuary with a marine salmon farm present’. After Simon Coveney became Minister for Agriculture, in June 2011 DAFF told the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources [DCENR, IFI’S Department] that ‘transmission of your Department’s observations to the Commission would not only be misleading but would also cause confusion in the public mind regarding sea lice controls and possibly undermine the state’s regulatory system. For these reasons I would ask you to withdraw the formal observations of your Department and to support the observations supplied to the Commission by DAFF.’ As late as November 2011, DCENR continued to ‘categorically and emphatically disagree with DAFF position’ stating: ‘This is their [IFI] valued and considered expert advice, accepted by this Department’, DCENR concluded that ‘there appears to be no useful purpose in continuing this debate in correspondence as there clearly is a fundamental differing of views on the salient issues…’ However, less than a month later a single page from IFI supporting DAFF’s position was given to European Commission investigators by DAFF, leading to the closing of the case by the EU in October 2012. Meanwhile, sea lice levels continue to rise. Marine Harvest, responsible for 80% of the country’s farmed salmon, have reported a tripling of sites infested with sea lice above the permitted level in the last three years. According to Marine Institute documents, in 2012 five ‘cell interventions’ were made by the Irish authorities in Galway and Donegal for persistent breaches of sea lice levels in spite of repeated pesticide applications. Two sites were fallowed and three subject to ‘accelerated harvesting’, with a ‘significant commercial impact for the companies concerned’.
Click the links below for further information:
Ombudsman letter confirming investigation
Press Release (long version)
Index of documents
Friends of the Irish Environment on Fintan O’Toole in Irish Times 16th September
Fintan O'Toole's article in Irish Times, 17th September - 'if you can't win the scientific argument suppress it'
11th September 2013 - 'Fish and Fly' news article.
Sea Lice ‘Out of Control’ in Many Scottish Regions
"Most recently, a new paper published in 2013 by a group of fisheries experts from Norway, Canada and Scotland re-analyses data from various Irish studies and shows that the impact of sea lice on wild salmon causes a very high loss (34%) of those returning to Irish rivers..."
Click here to read full article..
7th September 2013 - SWI letter of 5th September to Dr Ciaran Byrne (CEO - IFI) re 'Caligus Elongatus'.
Salmon Watch Ireland has become aware of a potential problem relating to levels of Caligus Elongatus lice on farmed salmon...
Salmon Watch Ireland has become aware of a potential problem relating to levels of Caligus Elongata lice on farmed salmon in a number of fish farming areas. It wouls appear that levels are far in excess of the agreed sea lice protocol nd as such may be having a detrimental effect on both Atlantic salmon smolts and sea trout, both post smolts and adults...
Click here to download pdf of full letter.
22nd August 2013 - Letter to Galway Independent from Alec O'Donovan, Secretary, 'Save Bantry Bay'.
"'Organic’ farmed salmon misleads conscientious consumers".
We are repeatedly being told the economic salvation of Ireland’s remote coastal and island communities will be massive new 'organic' salmon farms...
Click here to download pdf of full letter.
21st August 2013 - Inland Fisheries Ireland
"New Paper on Sea Lice published on early view today in Journal of Fish Diseases".
Click here to read full paper...Comment on Jackson et al. ‘Impact of Lepeophtheirus salmonis infestations on migrating Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., smolts at eight locations in Ireland with an analysis of lice-induced marine mortality’
16th August 2013 - Salmon Watch Ireland Press Release
The following statement was issued today by Salmon Watch Ireland: Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s plan for Galway Bay salmon super-farm now in tatters
In the environmental impact statement which it submitted in support of its application for a licence to operate a salmon super-farm in Galway Bay, the only evidence that Bord Iascaigh Mhara (‘BIM’) put forward in support of its contention that sea lice did not constitute a threat to wild salmon were two papers published in the journal Aquaculture in 2011. Both articles were authored by Dr David Jackson and a number of his colleagues in the Marine Institute and were followed up with a subsequent paper in the Journal of Fish Diseases in 2013. All three articles have been extensively quoted by BIM in arguments with the conservation sector about the impact on wild salmon of salmon farm generated concentrations of sea lice.
Click here to read full pdf of statement.
21st August 2013 - The Journal.ie Press Article
An Taisce: ‘Marine Institute’s study on Aran fish farm isn’t worth the paper it’s written on’. An Taisce state that the study in to the Galway fish farm has been discredited by international scientists.
AN TAISCE HAS criticised a study by the Marine Institute into the Aran fish farm stating that the study has been “panned” by international scientists and raises questions as to why they are supportive of controversial plans for the fish farm in Galway.
Click here to read full article...
15th August 2013 - An Taisce Press Release
"New Paper on Sea Lice published on early view today in Journal of Fish Diseases"
Marine Institute study has been panned by Canadian, Norwegian and Scottish scientists. University of Toronto analysis shows the Marine Institute’s 2013 study is scarcely worth the paper it is written on.
Click here to read full article on An Taisce's website... 15th August 2013 - Fish News EU "Irish anti-aquaculture lobby outraged" TODAY has seen attacks on the Irish aquaculture industry from two separate NGOs – No Salmon Farms At Sea (NSFAS) and Save Bantry Bay – following the publication of a new report into the impact that sea lice have on wild salmon. NSPAS focused their assault on Minister Simon Coveney, demanding that he halts Bord Iascaigh Mhara(BIM)'s licence application for a salmon farm in Galway Bay until an independent scientific examination of the facts is carried out. Click here to read full article on Fish News EU website...
15th July 2013 - from 12th July - Marine Institute Publication
The Marine Institute stands over scientific paper on aquaculture impacts on wild salmon stocks.
A recent Marine Institute study published in the peer reviewed international Agricultural Sciences journal (June 2013) found no correlation between the presence of aquaculture and the performance of adjacent wild salmon stocks.
The study by Dr. Dave Jackson and colleagues at the Marine Institute examined geographic and temporal trends in Atlantic salmon stock abundance at a River Basin District level and evaluated the effect of salmon aquaculture sites and freshwater habitat quality as potential drivers of stock abundance.
This study found no correlation between the presence of aquaculture and the performance of adjacent wild salmon stocks. Freshwater habitat quality was found to have a highly significant correlation with stock status, suggesting that it may be a key driver, implicated in the survival of individual stocks.
The paper, Evaluation of the impacts of aquaculture and freshwater habitat on the status of Atlantic salmon stocks in Ireland, is available to download for free. An open access fee is payable by the author only after a paper has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication.
Access to quality research is vital to the scientific community and beyond and open access ensures that members of the public and the scientific community can freely access quality research without having to pay a download fee.
The Marine Institute stands firmly over all peer reviewed scientific papers published by its staff and we support open access to high quality research.
The link to the journal is http://www.scirp.org/journal/as/ and the publication can be downloaded as a PDF document directly at this link