Call on Minister Simon Coveney over salmon farm ‘wipe-out’

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Minister Simon Coveney is being asked to give the figures of the escapees from the recent storm damage to a salmon farm in Bantry Bay. A written parliamentary question tabled by Clare Daly, TD, is due for reply later this week.

According to the west cork based Friends of the Irish Environment, the farm has effectively been ‘wiped out’.

In a statement released today, the group said that they ‘understand that there are only between 3,000 and 5,000 fish left at a site that held between 160,000 – 180,000 salmon.’

“Simon Coveney should have known about the extent of the loses since the fish were moved and counted on 19 February and yet his Department is silent on the subject.”

The storm on February 1, 2014, saw a cage break loose from its mooring and upend itself into another cage, according to local group Save Bantry Bay [SBB].

SBB, which had originally estimated the escape at 60,000 to 80,000, said that after the count on 19 February they understood that the farm had been ‘virtually wiped out’. Secretary Alex O’Donovan explained that the physical damage to the cages was more extensive than appeared at first and the continuing stormy conditions prevented any immediate repair.

“While Save Bantry Bay has great sympathy for the owners and employees of the fish farm, this incident entirely justifies our group’s position against the further expansion of salmon farming in the Bay.”

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