AN TAISCE HAS criticised a study by the Marine Institute into the Aran fish farm stating that the study has been “panned” by international scientists and raises questions as to why they are supportive of controversial plans for the fish farm in Galway.
In a statement, An Taisce say that the Marine Institute’s report which was produced earlier this year “sought to downplay” the role of sea lice in compromising salmon populations, particularly the survival of wild salmon.
An Taisce stated that a newly-released paper from the University of Toronto’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology discredits the institutes findings saying there are at least three fundamental errors in the report.
They state that the data differences from year to year were not treated appropriately, the averages regarding the survival of fish were used incorrectly and that the Marine Institute study contains grave mistakes in measuring control and treatment groups, leading to wide inaccuracies.
They state that the Marine Institute’s defence of the Aran fish farm is now “in shreds”.
An Taisce notes that as “authoritative scientific voices have weighed into the debate regarding fish farming, the plans for a giant 1,130-acre caged-fish installation between the Aran Islands and Clare, along with similar proposals elsewhere along the coast, appear increasingly ill-advised”.
Aran fish farm
The Galway fish farm would be the largest of its kind in Europe and would double the state’s production of raw organic salmon. However, there has been strong opposition to the proposals with some fishery groups and locals fearing it will do damage to the area and would be a threat to tourism in the area.
An Taisce said it was “disappointing” to see that the Marine Institute discredited adding that it raises questions and “strengthens the argument that the Marine Institute is propping up Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s (BIM) controversial plans for these vast and intensive fish farms off the coast”.