has written to the European Commission and to Irish Ministers demonstrating that
the proposed Galway Bay mega fish farm is contrary to an agreement for a moratorium in salmon farm development reached under the
National Development Plan 2007 – 2013 [NDP].
The Irish Seafood National Program 2007 –
2013 published under the National Development Plan in July 2010 acknowledges Central
and Regional Fisheries Boards concerns which were supported
by the Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) about the
negative impact that sea lice emanating from salmon farms are having on migratory wild salmonids.
‘To address these concerns [the
negative impact of sea lice], it has been decided that
no financial assistance will be given to marine salmon aquaculture licence
holders during the course of this National Programme until such time as the sea
lice issue has been satisfactorily
In spite of this,
only just over a year later in December 2011 the Minister for Agriculture specifically provided an increase in the
grant–in–aid for BIM ‘in view of the added
responsibility which it will have in relation to the deep sea aquaculture’. The
Minister has assigned BIM the task of obtaining the necessary licenses for the proposed ‘deep sea’ Galway Bay
salmon farm that will double national production.