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No Govt Help for 'Jelly Fish' Attacked Farm

NORTHERN IRELAND - Financial aid for the stricken Glenarm-based Northern Salmon farm, is unlikely. Northern Ireland Executive and the Department of Agriculture and Regional Development (DARD) have decided not to help the company's recover package, following its decimation by a freak jellyfish attack last November.

The firm's managing director John Russell has expressed "extreme disappointment" at a decision, although acknowledged that some funding has been secured from private investors that would help the farm to re-stock.

A report in the Larne Times, says the total cost to the firm, is estimated at £1.5m. Around 250,000 young salmon were killed when a swarm - known as a 'bloom' - of mauve stingers drifted through cages in Red Bay and Glenarm. Before Christmas the firm was forced to lay off four permanent employees. The business has employed 12 staff and was producing up to 450 tonnes of salmon a year,

No Aid

News that the government was not prepared to furnish a loan was delivered by the agriculture minister, Michelle Gildernew.. The decision, said Mr Russell, came as a "great and unexpected blow."

DARD said that in the absence of any available EU funding such assistance could only have come from the NI public funds. The request for assistance had been fully considered but the proposal did not represent value for money in economic terms to justify support by the Executive. There is no provision to deal with unforeseen circumstances like the jellyfish attack.

View the Larne Times story by clicking here.

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Ellen Hardy

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