ISGA Executive, Richie Flynn, said: “While unprecedented damage was caused to coastal infrastructure, salmon farms stood up extremely well to the constant storm challenge”.
Much of the credit for the security of the systems at sea must go to farm staff who worked throughout the holiday period. Mr Flynn said: “Farm companies, who have been denied any assistance from money available though legitimate EU grant schemes, have kept up with the latest technology and reinvested in their farms”.
“Minister Coveney must support the commitment and expertise of the aquaculture sector. This is an industry ideally suited to coastal communities, sustainable and successful in every respect and deserving of a better deal from government by way of equal treatment with competitors in other EU countries and a licencing system capable of delivering for a professional, modern food industry.”
Mr Flynn concluded: “Commercial Aquaculture grant schemes for the finfish and shellfish industry are essential in ensuring that SMEs can keep abreast of international technological developments, continually modernise and improve their safety and environmental management systems and guarantee a year round supply of healthy seafood for the home and domestic markets.”
The Irish Sea Fisheries Board (BIM) also stated that the contention that the recent storm would have damaged the structure of the salmon farm proposed for Galway Bay is speculative, misinformed and incorrect.
BIM knows the precise wave climate experienced at the location of the proposed fish farm as there was a measuring device on site during the storm.
The data buoy demonstrated that the wave conditions generated by the storm were well within the parameters of the scenarios suggested in BIM's Environmental Impact Statement and would not have caused damage.