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Sunday, November 24, 2013

23/11/13 News Flash, from Salmon Watch Ireland

(24 November 2013) - Salmon Watch Ireland welcomes the decision of the European Commission to re-open its file on complaints submitted to it in 2009 about the impact of salmon farm generated sea lice on migrating juvenile wild salmon.  The complaints had been lodged by Salmon Watch Ireland (‘SWIRL’) and Friends of the Irish Environment (‘FIE’).  The re-opening of the file has resulted from FIE drawing the attention of the Commission to the fact that an analysis of data about the impact of sea lice on juvenile wild salmons by the Marine Institute has been strongly contested by an eminent group of international scientists.
In addition to the re-opening of the Commission file, the Irish Ombudsman is conducting an inquiry into allegations that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine withheld from the Commission’s investigation of the SWIRL/FIE complaints a report from Inland Fisheries Ireland which gave a very different picture about the impact of sea lice and Irish efforts to control it, than that put forward by the Department;  the Department has responsibility for both the development and the regulation of salmon farming.  The Ombudsman has recently extended his investigation to include the actions of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the matter.
The Commission has re-opened its file on the sea lice issue as a result of its’ attention being drawn to a paper in the Journal of Fish Diseases in August 2013 which seriously questioned the analysis of sea lice data by a number of scientists from the Marine Institute (‘MI’) published in the same journal earlier in 2013.  The Marine Institute analysis (in a version published in papers in 2011) was relied on by Bord Iascaigh Mhara in the compilation of its’ Environmental Impact Statement for the Galway Bay super-salmon-farm project.  The authors of the August 2013 paper, led by Professor M Krkosek of the University of Toronto, concluded that were ‘fundamental methodological errors’ in the MI analysis and that rather than sea-lice having a 1% impact on survival rates of salmon at sea, the true rate is of the order of 34%.
Despite undertakings to do so, the MI have to date failed to respond to the Krkosek paper’s criticisms.
Commenting on these developments, the chair of the board of Salmon Watch Ireland, Niall Greene, said:  ‘The decision of the EU Commission to reopen its file on the 2009 complaints of Salmon Watch Ireland and Friends of the Irish Environment, about the impact of salmon farm generated concentrations of sea lice on wild salmon, is a very significant development.  Taken together with the Irish Ombudsman’s investigation into allegations that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine failed to transmit critical information relevant to the Commission’s investigations of the complaints, this means that the behaviour of the Department, of BIM and of the Marine Institute on salmon farming issues is once again now under close scrutiny’ .



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

6/11/13

News and Events October 2013
News from the hatchery!
13,500 fry have now been released into the upper catchment!
Tom O'Shea has produced 20,000 fish from the hatchery this year,
a massive increase from the same number of broodstock salmon.
A total of 15 hen fish and 9 cock fish, caught up on the Cummeragh
River last December have produced this amazing result. This week the fish
were graded for size and the smaller fry released. The grown on parr are to
be finclipped towards the end of November and a proportion released into
the system. As reported earlier, 5 fin clipped grilse were caught this last
season from the stocking in 2011, a very good result from the 4500 total
of fish stocked.

The Waterville Fisheries will be represented this coming weekend at the
Fly Fair in Galway! Tadhg O'Sullivan, chairman of our local steering committee
and Secretary, Kevin O'Sullivan will represent us a t this poular fair and hopefully
generate new business for the Wateville Community!