Salmon farm licence consultation begins
The public consultation period has begun in the licence application process for a deep sea fish farm in outer Galway Bay.
The period will run for eight weeks and members of the public can make observations or comments to Simon Coveney, Ireland’s minister for Agriculture, Marine and Natural Resources. The closing date for submissions is midnight on 12 December 2012.
The licence application for the deep sea salmon farm is to produce 15,000 tonnes of organic certified salmon. It is envisaged that, should the application be successful, this output will be carefully and incrementally built up over a six year period, bringing with it over 500 new jobs. These jobs would be created both directly (350) and indirectly (150) creating a €14.5 million annual wages flow, mainly in the vicinity of the proposed farm.
BIM would retain the licence as an asset for the State and seek a suitable commercial operator to manage the efficient running of the salmon farm. This approach will allow BIM to apply additional standards to the running of the farm, to maximise returns to the local coastal economy in accordance with our mission to develop the Irish seafood industry and sustain coastal communities.
BIM’s CEO, Jason Whooley, reiterated the Seafood Development Agency’s commitment to full and transparent communications throughout the process and welcomed the beginning of the public consultation phase. He said, “BIM have a vital role to play in the coming eight weeks to ensure that members of the public are given the opportunity to inform themselves about the proposed development. The level of scientific research that has gone into identifying these potentially suitable locations in outer Galway Bay for deep sea fish farming is unprecedented, bringing together research and modelling from some of the State’s most eminent marine scientists. We are confident that the very carefully chosen locations, matched with the rigorous monitoring that must accompany any salmon farm in Ireland will enable the proposed development to run successfully and produce premium organic salmon, something that Ireland is world renowned for.”
All of the application information, including the full Environmental Impact Statement, drawings and artists impressions of the proposed development as well as Irish and English versions of a non-technical summary are available here.