The scope of this tender includes the provision of expert advice on interactions between wild fish and aquaculture facilities and the species they farm. The advice provided will support IFI in its role in the conservation and protection of species under its legislative remit.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that sea lice from marine salmon farms, when not adequately controlled, can have a serious impact on local sea trout stocks and migrating salmon smolts. Sea trout are especially vulnerable to salmon lice infestation because, in the sea, they remain feeding and growing in coastal waters where salmon farms are situated.
There is a large body of published literature on the negative interactions of farmed salmon and wild salmonid stocks. Apart from the well documented sea lice-mediated impacts on wild salmonids associated with salmon farming, the interbreeding of salmon farm escapees with wild fish have also been shown to significantly negatively affect the sustainability of wild stocks.
It is anticipated that the contract will be awarded in early September 2022 work commencing immediately.
Includes Appendix on Concerns regarding the Appropriate Assessment of aquaculture activitives in marine SACs and potential impact on Atlantic salmon, and response letter from Minister McConalogue (29 March 2022)
The Marine Institute does not hold records of the number fish involved in each mortality event. Mortalities are reported to the Marine Institute as percentage values. This information has been released.
The Marine Institute does not hold records relating to the number of salmon held on the salmon farms at the time the mortality events occurred.
The Marine Institute does not hold any records relating to the disposal of mortalities from salmon farms.
Aquaculture data has been provided via special request, by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for reporting on aquaculture activities under Ireland’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive article reporting. Aquaculture sites include shellfish, finfish and seaweed as monitored for licensing purposes. Data has been displayed by the theme, Shellfish By Culture Type and By Species Type; Finfish By Culture Type and By Species Type; Seaweed By Culture Type and By Species Type. Aquaculture sites are updated periodically.
Fishery order areas are assigned to local co-operatives or private individuals through Fishery Orders (under the 1959 Fisheries (Consolidation) Act (no. 14 of 1959)). Aquaculture is licensed under the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1997 (No. 23 of 1997) and its associated Regulations.
Statistics on production, price and employment in the primary aquaculture sector in 2019 based on annual survey of all licensed aquaculture producers
Salmon remains the most economically significant aquaculture sector in 2018 with production at 12,000 tonnes.
Salmon is mostly exported to the EU, with lesser volumes going to North America and the Near and Far East. Employment in this sector at primary production sites, increased by 18% despite output decreasing in 2018. There are up to 464 directly employed in the sector.
Structures and Production Cycle
Offshore-exposed circular plastic cages of 20,000 metre cube capacity, are used. The production cycle is from 9 to 18 months depending on market size requirements. Smolts are transferred in spring to on-growing sites, then to finishing sites in preparation for harvesting. Maximum national production capacity is around 20,000 tonnes
The sector is capital intensive, with the greatest cost normally being feed which stood at €19.6 million in 2018.
All finfish farms are obliged to monitor for sealice on an ongoing basis and to take remedial action. This involves the inspection and sampling of each year class of fish at all fish farm sites fourteen times per annum, twice per month during March, April and May and monthly for the remainder of the year except December-January. Only one inspection is carried out during this period.
During 2020, a total of 209 sea lice reports (consisting of 108 MI reports and 101 farm reports) were received from 22 active farm sites.
One inspection was not undertaken by the Marine Institute on fish health grounds.
Shot Head farm will have a maximum permitted biomass of 2,800 tonnes over a 24-month production cycle and will have 18 pens
On 23rd of September, Salmon Watch Ireland filed an application at the High Court seeking judicial review of the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) decision to approve the awarding of a licence for a new open-cage salmon farm at Shot Head in Bantry Bay.
Inland Fisheries Ireland, Sweetman and others filed a similar application.
The Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board has determined all appeals before it against the decision by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to grant an Aquaculture Licence to Bradán Fanad Teo t/a Marine Harvest Ireland on site Ref: T05/555 for the cultivation of Atlantic Salmon; Salmo Salar on a site on the foreshore at Shot Head, Bantry Bay, Co Cork.
The Board determined the Appeals pursuant to section 40(4)(b) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 (as amended and substituted) by determining the appeals as if the application had been made to the Board in the first instance and by GRANTING a licence to the Applicant for the proposed activity on the Site, in accordance with the draft licence prepared by the Minister, but subject to the varied and amended Terms and Conditions as set out in the Determination. There were 14 appeals in total.
Each salmon farm license has a) stocking rate, and b) max allowable biomass
Licenses are all (or almost all) expired
There is no easy way to determine overstocking of salmon in salmon farms
There is no way way to extract the licenced stocking data in a structured format, as it is all held in various pdf docs
If a farm remains unstocked for two years, the license is revoked. But how can you tell when and where fish farms are not stocked? One clue would be via the Marine Institute Annual Sea Lice Reports, which contain results for all the sea lice inspections. See below for most recent report (2020)
Note: Salmon farm data is on the ‘to do’ list, as it is not in any structured or open public format… for reasons