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A study of the annual inspection records of Irish salmon farms by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries between 2012 and 2014 has shown a complete breakdown of the salmon farm licensing system.

Instructions to operators to repair lights, to ensure that operations are contained within the allocated area, have been ignored f’foir many years’.

Marine Harvest, the largest global producer of farmed salmon, has been overstocking its sites for more than three years and in 2014 refused to give the Department’s Inspectors the stocking figures.

No provisions is being made for ensuring inspections of the critical mooring components that have led to previous disasters in spite of repeated recommendations by the Minister’s officials in accident reports and undertaking given to the European Commission to satisfy a European Court of Justice Judgment against Ireland.




Read the letter from the EU upgrading the investigation in Irish chemical exceedences in THMs

FIE has written to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, asking him to reconsider the proposal in Seafood Development Plan 2014 - 2020 to provide up to €2 million in state-backed insurance for salmon farms ‘for his own self respect’. The Minister proposes to underwrite insurance of up to €2 million for operations that suffer loses of up to 30% of their annual turnover from ‘natural disasters’, ‘adverse climatic events’, and ‘diseases in aquaculture’. Read the letter.

Download this file (Minister on Seafood Development 2020.pdf)Minister on Seafood Development 2020.pdf[Minister on salmon farm insurance]54 kB

FIE’s submission on the Seafood Development Plan to includes a letter from the Commission to Ireland about the priorities for qualifying for funding under the plan. These highlight management of the open sea fleet size, regularising the aquaculture licensing, and a serious effort to make good on Ireland’s responsibility to collect data and identify Marine Protection Areas. In aquaculture, FIE is still waiting for the multi-annual plan due in August 2014 and now expected shortly. The group wants more openness in fish farm health records, including making pancreatic disease reportable, for which Marine Harvest’s most recent report lists two further out breaks already in Ireland in 2015.

Read the submission.

The Secretary,

The Planning Authority,

Cork County Council,

31 March, 2015


Referal under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000


Whether the change of use from private club to public licensed premises is or is not development and is or is not exempted development.


Location: Old Head of Kinsale

Development: Change of use from private club to public licensed premises.

Developer: Ashborne Holdings Ltd. C/O OLD HEAD GOLF LINKS,



Information necessary to enable the authority to make its decision on the matter:


The change of use from private club to ordinary publican’s licence, confirmed by the grant to Ashborne Holdings Ltd. of the Old Head Golf Links by Judge Sean O Donnabhain of the Cork Circuit Court on Friday March 20 2015 (which included the requirement that undertaking that there would be no barrier inside the entrance to the Old Head of Kinsale) is or is not development and is or is not exempted development.





Tony Lowes, Director, on behalf of Friends of the Irish Environment


Enc: Photo and Map of site

Fee of €80.00




Above: Old Head of Kinsale Golf Club

Below: Google earth image of site