EC closes Irish sea lice investigation

09 Oct 2014
Sea lice on farmed salmon

Sea lice on farmed salmon

The European Commission has closed the EU Pilot Investigation into the potential impact of sea lice on wild salmon stocks in Ireland.

The investigation was opened following complaints raised by Friends of the Irish Environment and Salmon Watch Ireland. 

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has welcomed the decision to close the investigation, which means that the EC has concluded that the Irish State has no case to answer in relation to the complaint raised.

Donal Maguire, BIM’s Director of Aquaculture Services welcomed the closing of the case stating, “The closure of this complaint by the EU Commission confirms three things. First it shows that there was no evidence to support the suggestion that salmon in Irish rivers are being adversely affected by sea lice from salmon farms. Second, it is a clear demonstration that the EU Commission accepts the science, developed by the Marine Institute of Ireland, which shows that sea lice have only a very minor influence on wild salmon survival, and third, the closure of the case upholds Ireland’s excellent sea lice monitoring and control programme on salmon farms, which commission officials have classified as being the ‘best in Europe’. 

“Hopefully the formal closure of this pilot investigation will mark a turning point in the long running and sometimes bitter debate about salmon farming and wild salmon stocks.”

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