A number of presentations are available to view at Presentations SWIRL Conference
The Inland Fisheries Presentation will be available at a later date. The presentation was a very concise look at how our salmon stocks are in decline and will be available after publication of a scientific report containing much of the data displayed. Dr. Ciaran Byrne and Dr. Paddy Gargan answered questions related to the presentation in a very open manner. The situation is concerning and despite many gains regarding water quality and huge reductions in exploitation, the situation continues to decline. A small improvement appears to have happened in 2016 but overall trend is downward.
Mr Tony Lowes gave an excellent speech to the conference which looked at the impacts of salmon farming over a wide range of areas from inshore to the wider ocean. The text of the speech which is available at Friends of the Irish Environment.is a very good insight how salmon farming is conducted without much concern for the wider environment. The speech really explains the many difficulties associated with the industry and how sustainability of this industry cannot be really achieved.
Roar Olsen from the Faroes gave an excellent presentation which outlined their regulatory regime which focusses on hard law and penalties for farms which break the levels of sea lice on farms. These range from a large reduction of smolt stocking, mandatory fallowing and early harvest. They also have a policy of rewarding farms which comply by allowing them to increase smolt stocking. Mandatory sea lice inspection by outside authority with fortnightly published results is also a feature with mandatory chemical parameter testing for dissolved oxygen. One trend discovered is the low level of dissolved oxygen on sea bed in their fjords'
Eanna Molloy S.C addressed shortcomings of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 in relation the licensing of aquaculture projects, with particular emphasis on salmon farming.
He dealt with the lack of public information and participation involved in decision making regarding amendments, renewals, and revocation of licenses. Similar issues arise in relation to public information, participation in decision making, and access to review of decisions regarding new licences where adverse environmental impacts are apprehended.
He also compared the regulatory framework regarding veterinary products and pesticides applying to terrestrial agriculture to that which applies to salmon farming. There is a perception that there is inadequate oversight of the control and usage of pesticides on salmon farms, compared to the strict supervisory regulation of pesticides and chemicals in land based agriculture.
Dr. Liam Carr gave an excellent talk on his research regarding aquaculture. Primarily his research focuses in on measuring the local knowledge of stakeholder communities in the context of wild and farmed salmon in western Ireland.