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Records Show 1.6 Million Wild Fish Destroyed In 4 Years

category national | environment | press release author Wednesday November 25, 2020 20:30author by foie - Friends of the Irish Environment Report this post to the editors

Atlantic Bays stripped of wild fish to eat lice off farmed salmon
Records show 1.6m wild fish destroyed in 4 years

More than 1.6 million wild fish were taken from Ireland’s Atlantic bays to eat the lice off farmed salmon between May 2015 and November 2019. The figures, released to environmental groups through Access to Information on the Environment requests, are the first official record of salmon farming’s practices on these wild fish.

PRESS RELEASE - FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT - 23 November 2020

Atlantic Bays stripped of wild fish to eat lice off farmed salmon
Records show 1.6m wild fish destroyed in 4 years

More than 1.6 million wild fish were taken from Ireland’s Atlantic bays to eat the lice off farmed salmon between May 2015 and November 2019. The figures, released to environmental groups through Access to Information on the Environment requests, are the first official record of salmon farming’s practices on these wild fish.

According to the Irish Independent, ‘Mowi, the largest salmon producer in Ireland, says any that survive are released back into the bays, but the Department of the Marine says the fish are culled.’ Mowi, previously known as Marine Harvest, is the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon and is responsible for 80% of Ireland farmed salmon, sold under their organic label.

The new records were submitted to the Aquaculture Appeals Board last week as part of Friends of the Irish Environment’s [FIE] objection to a proposed 5,000 ton mega-salmon-farm proposed by the company for Bantry Bay. “Salmon farm licences are being granted and renewed for farms without this part of the process coming into the reckoning,” said FIE spokesman, Tony Lowes. ‘Wrasse form a vital part of the local ecosystem and their destruction on this scale has inevitable consequences, from lobsters to sea birds.’

Mr. Lowes says that ‘not only are the loss of wrasse in such numbers of concern, but inevitably there are leakages from the cages through which the now infected wrasse can return to the wild and so spread disease and parasites into our western bays’.

The submission highlights the transmission of CMS (Cardiomyopathy Syndrome) which was recorded in Bantry in wild wrasse for the first time in 2014. Known as ‘Broken heart disease’, mature fish are affected. FIE submitted mortality records for the first ten months of 2020 which show 3 outbreaks of the disease in two separate sites in County Mayo.

The group claims the disease is being spread and amplified because of the treatment of the captured wild wrasse who are stressed by their new conditions and develop the disease more readily.

The mortality records show 36 incidents of mortalities reported in the first ten months of this year. Jellyfish and Phytoplankton blooms are the major causes of mortalities, with one site in Inver Bay in Donegal reporting ‘Complete loss of the site within 2 weeks of start of the blooms’.

Movi’s third quarter 2020 presentation says the ‘company has been lagging somewhat behind the industry’s farming volume growth trajectory’. ‘Under the prevailing circumstances the Board has not found it appropriate to distribute a quarterly dividend for the third quarter’, the Q3 Report finishes.

CONTACT: Tony Lowes 353 (0)27 74771 / 353 (0)872176316

Submission:
Friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/images/Fishfarms/Observation_2020_Bantry_Bay_Salmon_Farm_161120.pdf

Wrasse Movements
www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/images/Fishfarms/WrasseMovements2015_2019.xlsx

Mortality Reports
www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/images/Fishfarms/SalmonFarmMortalityReports01Jan20to14Oct20.xlsx

Mowi Q3 2020 presentation
https://mowi.com/blog/operational-ebit-of-eur-80-million-in-the-third-quarter-for-mowi/

This Press Release
https://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/press-releases/17904-atlantic-bays-stripped-of-wild-fish-to-eat-lice-off-farmed-salmon

Copyright © 2020 Friends of the Irish Environment, All rights reserved.
Press Release

Our mailing address is:
Friends of the Irish Environment
Kilcatherine
Eyeries, Cork P75 CX53
Ireland

Related Link: https://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/press-releases/17904-atlantic-bays-stripped-of-wild-fish-to-eat-lice-off-farmed-salmon
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