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IFA Relief at Decision to Protect Clew Bay

by Ellen Hardy
1 October 2008, at 1:00am

IRELAND, UK - Irish Farmers' Association Aquaculture, has welcomed the decision to refuse permission to Mayo County Council to pump treated landfill leachate into the renowned seafood producing region of Clew Bay.

The decision to refuse permission acknowledges the industrys dependence on high quality water with the purity required for the sustainable and safe farming of oysters, mussels and salmon.

Clew Bay is classified as an "A" class water for the purposes of marketing shellfish and is protected by the Shellfish Waters Directive. It is home to one of Europes last remaining native oyster fisheries, a significant pacific oyster and mussel growing community and the premium organic salmon producer, Clare Island Seafarm. The local aquaculture industry employs over 100 people and products from the bay are exported throughout the world as well as the important domestic market. Local aquaculture producers, the Clew Bay Oyster Co-op, the Clew Bay Forum, and IFA Aquaculture had campaigned to ensure that the leachate from the landfill in Derrinumerra which contained decades of waste and an unknown quantity of potential toxins, heavy metals and other contaminants, would not be flushed through the proposed sewage treatment plant in Newport village.

IFA Aquaculture Executive Secretary said, "This ruling marks a very significant precedent for future planning and development decisions by local authorities around the coast. It sends a clear signal that no development should compromise the quality of water or threaten the food safety or animal health status of locally farmed seafood."

The IFA man concluded, "In this case, Mayo County Council should immediately proceed with gaining full permission and begin the construction of the Newport village waste water treatment scheme, upon which the leachate plan had been imposed. This will have a significant effect on improving water quality in the north Clew Bay area for all users, including the aquaculture sector."

Ellen Hardy