Day to Day Diary

A ‘journey from hell’ for fish raised on a salmon farm off the Irish coast is the result of a change in harvesting of salmon at a fish farm off the west Cork coast.

Previously harvested in Castletownbere, Marine Harvest Ireland, who produce more than 85% of the country’s famed salmon, are now sucking the fish into a small boat and then transferring them alive into stainless steel tankers for the journey to the slaughterhouse at the other end of Ireland.

It is almost unimaginable what it must be life for these fish to be jammed into a tanker across Irish roads for more than 600 kilometres.

The operations have been continuing for more than a month, including Sundays and holidays, and have been the subject of ‘almost daily’ complaints to our offices over noise, danger to traffic, and disruption, with callers also citing disturbance to the local seal and otter populations. The area is designed for protection under the Habitats Directive.

This operation is certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council on the basis of the fish being harvested locally and the product has Irish Organic status.

FIE has coordinated complains to the authorities including the Minister for Agriculture, who licenses fish farm operations, since 4 August but the operations are continuing on a daily basis.

Read the Letter to Minister of Agriculture of 4 August, 2017   INCLUDES PHOTOS    |     Press Release



FIE is urging Ireland’s Minister for Climate Action and the Environment Dennis Naughton to support the ratification of the findings that the UK must stop construction on its new nuclear plant until opportunity for comment provided to the public of neighbouring countries are ‘equivalent to that provided to the public of the Party of origin’

FIE’s complaint in March 2013 to the UN Economic and Social Council was upheld (along with a similar complaint from a German member of Parliament, Sylvia Kotting-Uhl. The finding determined that the UK did not met its obligations under the Espoo Convention and is due to be ratified in Minsk on June 16th. Work must be suspended until the opportunity to comment has been provided.


Read the letter   |   The current PR   |   Previous FIE press release and related documents



FIE’s successful complaint to the UN Implementation Committee of the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context [ESPOO] in March 2013 that we in Ireland had been deprived of our right to be consulted by the UK before constructing the first of a new series of nuclear power plants continues to play out across Europe.

Ireland’s position is that since the United Kingdom had concluded that the likely impacts determined through a thorough EIA do not extend beyond the county of Somerset and the Severn Estuary’, the activity was not likely to give rise to a significant adverse transboundary impacts and the requirements under the Convention regarding notification to other States did not arise.

As an Austrian study submitted to the Committee stated, however, ‘A conservative worst case release scenario should have been included in the EIA. A source term, for example for an early containment failure or containment bypass scenario, should have been analyzed as part of the EIA – in particular because of its relevance for impacts at greater distances.’

As a result of the complaint, work may now have to be halted at the Hinkley C power plant construction site to allow for consultation.

Read our press release and letter to the Minister




The first legal action under Ireland’s new climate legislation has been lodged with the High Court.

The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council failed to provide satisfactory explanatory reasons for granting the extension to the original decision to allow a third runway at Dublin Airport in spite of the fact that the Chief Executive was fully aware that the extra runway would result in increased greenhouse gas emissions and so contravened the objectives of the 2015 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act. 

While aviation is only responsible for about 5% of human-generated climate change, if the current trends continue, aviation emissions will increase by up to 300% by 2050.

The planned third runway at Dublin Airport is based on the scenario of unconstrained aviation growth and travel demand and reflects an implicit assumption by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Fingal County Council and the Irish Government that no steps will be taken to limit the growth in aviation. The proposal assumes that we will ignore the targets of the recent Paris Agreement on climate change.


Read the Press Release.



Almost a year after FIE began to investigate the felling of protected trees during the bird nesting season at Ireland’s largest private estate, the Minister for Agriculture has confirmed the felling of at least 9 specimen oak trees between 60 and 80 years old – with some even older – even though the Department had tried to specifically protect them with a cover letter to the licence. The cover letter proved invalid and while procedures have been changed, there is no way to enforce existing licences with these kinds of conditions. Even worse, when Minister for Heritage Heather Humphries had a report prepared by her Parks and Wildlife Service confirming the felling in response to a Parliamentary Question from James Bannon about the felling in December 2015, she told neither the Guards nor the Forest Service – nor did she ever answer the Deputy as promised. As a result, no prosecution can be undertaken of Lady Georgiana Forbes because of the passage of time.

 FIE is following up – read today’s letter