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SAVE OUR SEA TROUT : STOP INDUSTRIAL SALMON CAGES IN GALWAY BAY

category galway | environment | opinion/analysis author Sunday April 20, 2014 00:40author by george unthank - self Report this post to the editors

MINISTER TO ARBITRATE ON APPLICATION FROM HIS OWN DEPARTMENT

If the industrial salmon cages are permitted to be located in Galway , the sea trout and wild salmon are impaired.
Evidence adduced by gargan et al show unequivocal evidence of louse infestation on returning fish ( to spawn) to be attributable to the proximity of returning wild fish . The closer the salmon cages are located to the swim paths of the fish , the more the infestation of lice on the wild fish

Historical evidence has demonstrated the increase in disease in salmon and sea trout and the proximity of the salmon cages to swim path of wild fish

Most of my generation of anglers have already seen the almost total decimation of sea trout in our western lakes due to the introduction of salmon cages on a modest scale. This happened when groups such a Carroll 's cigarette co. started getting involved in a potentially burgeoning industry.
The Sea trout we saw returning to the western lakes became so contaminated with sea lice that many died before or on reaching their home spawning grounds.
The evidence became so overwhelming that the taking the few surviving sea trout by rod became prohibitive to any conscientious angler. We operated a catch and release policy to conform with new legislation which came too late and from the wrong end of the fishing thing. By which I mean our sport had been overtaken by an industry.
We witnessed the fish covered in lice, struggling pitifully to make it back to their spawning grounds.
Their features became monstrously disfigured.
The catch and release policy was ineffective and many of us discontinued to fish for sea trout at all.
This had the knock on effect of putting gillies out of work, and rendering many hotels and guest houses defunct.
All this time salmon were being farmed in industrial cages in the western bays . The evidence soon became utterly unequivocal; there was a causal relationship between the declining seat trout and the presence of the cages . The wild sea trout were almost decimated . We no longer spoke of a decline of stock but of the fear of the wipe out of the species – sea trout ( Salmo Trutta )

Studies were taken from Norway , coupled with these and studies done in Scotland fortified our argument to have the salmon cages restricted in size or preferably removed entirely
We then had our own scientists - government employed - who did extensive studies on our western lakes- see Gargan et al These preeminent marine scientists found unequivocal evidence that both returning sea trout and salmon after one to three sea winters were more vulnerable to infestation by sea lice , the closer the cages were located to the swim path of the returning fish.- These papers are available on the Inland waterways website.

These returning fish are retuning for the purpose of spawning- and they are being contaminated by disease which is directly related to the presence of salmon cages.
The ministers own department BIM is now an applicant for a licence to establish a massive salmon cage plant in Galway bay.
The minister ( Covney ) Will be the arbiter of this application form his own employees.
The licence , we assume would be ''hired -out'' to major commercial fin fish farmers . This permit would facilitate the commercially largest salmon cages in these islands , if not in Europe.
The Save Galway Bay Acton group need your support to halt this environmental gargantuan delinquency .
We argue that an industry on the scale proposed in Galway bay would imperil the sea trout which are making a progressive but slow come back since the removal of some of the cages in the past few years.
Against all biological and ecological evidence , the minister seems favourably disposed to grant the licence to his own department,.
The fin fish farming industry , whose environmental delinquinccy elsewhere has been witnessed , would be free to manage their industry as efficiently as possible.This has in the past. Involved adding antibiotics and anti louse chemicals to the water in the cages .
Our greatest fear would be a major escape of caged salmon and entering the indigenous spawning beds, which they would ruin. If they are haploids 0 they can not breed but still have the intuition to make spawning beds.
But the more insidious concern in the louse infestation of the sea trout , who might be attracted towards the cages as a food source.- risking louse infestation many times .
We are trying to stop this industry progressing anywhere near swim paths of sea trout or salmon . we are trying to avert a catastrophic decision by an obdurate minister who is in a position to be the grantee of a licence from his own department .
We demand an independent adjudicator to arbitrate here .
It is simply wrong that this minister has such sweeping power.
The provision of employment argument doesn’t wash. There might be many jobs available in the first year of construction , but thereafter the industry is largely mechanically operated
We ask your help in contacting the Save Galway Bay Action Group- at least visit us and lend an ear.
Thank you .
George

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