FIEs presentation at the Salmon Watch Ireland Conference addressed the enormous scope of the environmental impact of salmon farming on eco systems as far away as the Antarctic, outlining how the use of the English language has been twisted to allow the Aquaculture Stewardship Council to certify that farmed salmon receiving food that is composed entirely of fish can claim that in fact the food has no fish in it, how chemicals designed to kill parasites are in fact medicines and so need little environmental assessment, and how the Department of Marine ignored appeals from Donegal County Council to control overstocking at Marine Harvests Lough Alton smoult site and instead gave permission for the overstocking – without any assessment of the impact. And how the biggest environmental impact may be the loss of credibility for the word ‘organic’.
Bord na Mona, the semi-state turf development board, has ignored a recent High Court decision by applying for a horticultural processing facility without assessing the impact on the bogs supplying the peat.
The application is for a horticultural processing facility on a 2.7-hectare site near Naas in County Kildare, a joint venture with the Dutch company Legro. Legro is one of largest producers of casing soil for mushroom cultivation with clients all around the world, according to the application.
The High Court recently ruled in relation to Edenderry Power Plant that the source of the plant’s fuel must be considered as part of the application for the continuation of the plant but this decision has been ignored by the company in its current application.
While Bord na Mona has committed to phasing out the exploitation of bogs for power plants, it shows no sign of any social responsibility when it comes to its’ horticultural division.
The Judicial Review granted to FIE by the High Court challenging a windfarm near Donald Trump’s Doonbeg Golf Resort is to be fast-tracked in the Commercial Court.
FIE first successfully opposed the developer’s 45 turbine windfarm in the area in 2012 to protect the freshwater pearl mussel. As 31 turbines were subsequently permitted with a further 13 in the neighbourhood, this new application for 12 turbines had been refused by Clare County Council and refusal recommended by the Appeal Board’s Inspector to protect the fresh water pearl mussel but granted nonetheless by the Board itself.
This is a species in severe decline and, in many cases, unable to reproduce because of poor water quality. As the mussel lives in fast-flowing rivers, the tiny juvenile mussels have to burrow into the river bed to prevent being washed to sea. With the increase in nutrients and sediment entering rivers, the gravels into which they burrow become clogged with silt, algae and rooted-plants, so the young mussels can no longer survive. In many Irish rivers, pollution has become so severe that the adults are also dying, starved of oxygen and food.
Four international experts have written to the Clare Champion newspaper publicly calling on Clare County Council to be ‘diligent’ as the beach at Donald Trump’s Doonbeg golf course is ‘still under threat’ from revised proposals.
The authors of ‘The World’s Beaches, A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline’, say that ‘We believe that the public may not be aware that, in effect, the proposed work at Doonbeg Golf course project hasn’t really changed and still involves emplacement of beach-destroying seawalls.’
Instead of the walls, the authors recommend that ‘the currently affected holes can be located further from the shoreline if the need arises (most likely at less cost than constructing/maintaining walls). This approach will preserve the beach for future generations, maintain the recreational course, and set a good example for future Irish coastal management in this time of rapidly rising sea levels.’
#NatureTrumpsWalls is calling on supporters asking them to support their objection to the Council and have set up a website for this mass action at http://www.savethewaves.org/objection/.
The Boycott Farmed Salmon’s 2016 Christmas campaign has added the word ‘ORGANIC’ to its campaign’s name after the Minister refused to enforce the EU Regulations which require that whenever chemical medicines are used on organic products ‘treated stock shall be clearly identifiable’.
‘Organic operators meet this requirement’ the Minister told the Oireachtas in a written parliamentary reply earlier this year, ‘by maintaining information at their premises’
The purpose of organic regulations are so that consumers can differentiate chemically treated products from products that have not been chemically treated. We urge the public to boycott organic farmed salmon this Christmas if they have any respect for those who buy and sell organic products in a relationship of trust with the public.’