Department to amend Cork fish farm licence

The Department of Agriculture has revealed its intention to amend the licence at a fish farm in Eyeries, Co Cork.

The ministerial decision related to salmon and rainbow trout in cages at Inishfarnard, Coulagh Bay, held by Silver King Seafoods Ltd, which is owned by Comhlucht Iascaireachtra Fanad Teoranta, trading as Marine Harvest Ireland.

The department said there was no provable breach of a condition which says “the stock of fish in the cages shall not exceed such quantity as may be specified by the Minister from time to time, the number of smolts to be stocked at the site should not in any event exceed 400,000.”

According to the department: “The minister has concluded that a provable breach of the licence condition did not occur, in circumstances where evidential issues may arise as to what technically constitutes a smolt. 

"The Minister wishes to seek to avoid a similar situation occurring in the future and, therefore, wishes to endeavour to have the licence amended.”

Marine Harvest Ireland said most aquaculture licences referred to fish stocking parameters that were “out of date”. 

It said in a submission to the aquaculture licence review group that finfish production should only be managed according to the standing stock biomass on a site at any given time.

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