Fianna Fáil Mayor of Bandon, Cllr Gillian Coughlan, has pledged her full support for anglers on the Bandon River in their opposition to the proposed fish farm in Galway Bay.
Cllr Coughlan said that scientific research suggests that fish faming has a negative impact, not only on native Salmon and Trout but also on shellfish and wildlife populations.
“The environmental and economic impacts of a fish farm on the Bandon River Valley are of huge concern to me. Every year, hundreds of anglers visit this renowned salmon course. Any diminution in stocks would have a devastating knock-on effect for local hotels, shops and restaurants, not to mention the impact on local recreational anglers,” Cllr Coughlan said.
“Salmon farms increase the population of sea lice to dangerous levels making them a death sentence for any passing native juvenile fish. There are also very real concerns of pollution to the sea bed and mass escapes of farmed salmon that would damage the native gene pool.”
Cllr Coughlan has called on Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney, not to grant the license for this proposed ‘Mega’ fish farm in Galway, which under the proposals, would have the eventual capacity to produce 30,000 tonnes of farmed salmon.
“Any future fish farm developments should be land- based, closed containment systems which have been proven to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
“I am calling on the Minister to protect our inland waters and coastal environment and not to leave a legacy of depleted rivers and contaminated seas,” Cllr Coughlan concluded.