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All Ireland's 166 TD's Contacted by Campaigners

Salmonids Sustainability Politics +3 more

IRELAND - All 166 of Irelands Teachta Dla, members of the lower chamber of Parliment, (TD's) have been contacted by Save Bantry Bay, avoluntary group campaigning to prevent the expansion of MarineHarvests salmon farms in the Bay.

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While Save Bantry Bay is a local group, they claim preventing the expansion of salmon farming in Bantry Bay is a national issue. Why? With a history of European Court rulings against Ireland when awarding salmon farm licenses, fish farming is relevant to TDs wherever theyre based. If Ireland wishes to stay out of the European Courts it is vital European legislation is adhered to.

Sadly, in the case of the proposed Marine Harvest salmon farm in Bantry Bay this has not been the case, said the Save Bantry Bay group. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) completed by Marine Harvest as part of the licence application has failed to meet standards set by the EU EIA Directive.

It has for example:

1. failed to acknowledge the Dromogowlane River, only 500m away and home to protected species that will be affected

2. failed to consult a single living resident in the parish (only one was written to and he died 10 years ago)

3. deemed the majority of houses and residents in the nearby townland not to exist

4. failed to consider alternative technologies such as the non-polluting closed containment systems

5. failed to consider alternative sites

6. failed to assess the ability of the immediate area to flush waste (only last on month the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board overturned Simon Coveneys decision to grant a mussel farm licence in nearby Dunmanus Bay due to poor flushing rate and large amounts of waste).

On top of this, the Save Bantry bay group has said that residents concerns related to a failure to adhere to the principles of the Bantry Bay Charter, further loss of fishing grounds, increased pollution, negative impact shellfish industry, the negative impact on six local salmon rivers, and the negative impact on tourism.

Instead of providing two new full time jobs, as developers claim, it seems this development may well result in a net loss of jobs in the region. It is for all these reasons relevant both nationally and locally - that Save Bantry Bay are appealing to the all the countries TDs to get their voices heard.