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Unfair criticism of aquaculture sector

The aquaculture sector wishes to express severe disappointment at the Irish Examiner’s campaign against investment in jobs and exports in West Cork.

The consistently one-sided approach to the application for a sea farm in Bantry Bay in a series of articles was reinforced by an editorial (Mar 12) that cast an unfair slur on an entire industry.

It is a shame that this momentary lapse of impartiality and research occurred, given the free access your paper has to public information on regulation, legislation and rules governing fish farm licensing and management.

You fail to mention that all marine finfish farms are subject to rigorous and expensive environmental impact statements, or that farmers must wait for many months, and sometimes several years, while consultation takes place with the general public and statutory bodies.

Salmon farms are highly regulated and subject to frequent and rigorous inspections by at least three state agencies. They comply with audits by environmental, quality and organic certification bodies.

The sector must meet world-class standards on navigation, husbandry, fish welfare, environmental, water quality and traceability.

We welcome and support good robust practice and regulation and point to a record going back over two decades as pioneers in publishing site monitoring results. Salmon farming is transparent and confident about its business.

Your readership is entitled to a broader discussion around the issue of developing our inshore areas and creating jobs and exports with inward investment.

Your paper has an onus to inform your readers of the standards expected of the modern sector and the science behind it.

Richie Flynn

IFA Aquaculture

Bluebell

Dublin 12


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