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BIM withdraws plan for Galway Bay Salmon Farm

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has withdrawn its plans for a controversial large-scale organic salmon farm North East of Inis Óirr. BIM held a board meeting on Monday after which it announced that it will not proceed with its application for an aquaculture licence for a proposed 15,000 tonne organic salmon farm in Galway Bay. There had been widespread objections to the plans for the Galway Bay Deep Sea Salmon Farm, notably from the Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages movement, set up by freshwater angling clubs, hoteliers, guest house owners, in-shore fishermen and environmentalists. A statement from BIM said it had withdrawn the application in line with the new National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development. The strategy drawn up by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine follows extensive consultation and forms the basis for the drawdown of €30 million in EU funding dedicated to Irish aquaculture development over the next five years from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund …

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Opposition to fish farm reinforced

Slow Food International has reiterated its position on fish farms, stating that the organisation “does not consider open net pen fish farms an environmentally sound practice”. The group made the statement ahead of any decision by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on whether or not to grant a license to Bord Iascaigh Mhara for a giant salmon farm off the North Clare Coast. The movement said it wished to “reiterate its opposition to intensive open pen fish farms, correcting any misconception resulting from the mention of Slow Food in the Environmental Impact Statement published by BIM”. Piero Sardo, president of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, confirms, “Open net pen aquaculture is not a solution to the problem of overfishing: It damages natural ecosystems on a local and a global level, including wild stocks, habitats and water quality. Feeding carnivorous salmon in farms means other wild species must also be harvested, resulting in a larger carbon footprint …

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Fish farm row is ‘unseemly’ says BIM chief

THE public disagreement between two State bodies regarding the proposed fish farm off the North Clare Coast is “a very poor reflection of the public sector”, the head of one of them has admitted. Inland Fisheries Ireland and Bord Iascaigh Mhara have come out on opposite sides of the plan by BIM for the development of a 456-hectare organic salmon farm between the North Clare coast and Inis Oirr. BIM submitted an application for the farm, which would produce 15,000 tonnes of salmon per year, to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine last January. Speaking to The Clare Champion Bord Iascaigh Mhara CEO Jason Wholly described the disagreement between BIM and IFI as beyond unseemly. “Unseemly is putting it mildly and it shouldn’t be the case and it is a very poor reflection of the public sector in Ireland and, indeed, the Government that this is the case,” he stated. A key area of disagreement between the two sides …

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