Bantry Bay Fish Farm in Doubt Following An Taisce Legal Objections
In February the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) adjourned an oral hearing in relation to a proposed salmon farm at Shot Head, Bantry Bay, County Cork. On the back of numerous issues An Taisce have since submitted legal objections to the continuation of the appeal. It is understood that ALAB is seeking legal advice on the issues raised.
The oral hearing into the granting of a licence to Marine Harvest for a salmon farm at shot head has been adjourned since February after it transpired that an important technical report had not been made accessible to all parties taking part in the hearing. During the oral hearing Marine Harvest, had cited a report that involved hydrodynamic modelling of currents in Bantry Bay and the dispersal rates of sea lice. An Taisce and other appellants in the Save Bantry Bay group had not had access to this important report which is over 100 pages.
The chairman Dr Owen McIntyre adjourned the hearing for at least four weeks so all parties could read the report. Solicitor Alan Doyle for An Taisce had also made an objection regarding the document, stating that introducing a new report at that stage would be unfair and contrary to national justice. The adjournment is ongoing while ALAB is seeking legal advice on the issues raised by An Taisce and others.
The output of the proposed fish farm is 3,500 tonnes every two years. There have been a range of issues with fish farms in Bantry Bay in recent years including the escape of 230,000 fish in one incident. There are concerns about the cumulative impact of more fish farms on the environment and local employment and recreation.