Dáil Éireann - Volume 384 - 29 November, 1988

Written Answers. - Salmon Farms Controls.

37. Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the concern of Galway fishermen regarding the threats of pollution arising from the location of salmon farms in the seas around the coast of Galway; if he will give an assurance that adequate controls will be exercised to avoid any threat to existing fish stocks; and if he will give details of monitoring procedures [2034] applied in each case where a licensed fish farm operates.

Minister for the Marine (Mr. Daly): I am aware of the fishermen's concern. The Aquaculture Division of my Division is now in the process of licensing approved fish farms in the Connemara region. This licensing procedure is designed to exercise very strict controls over the operations of the fish farms and to ensure that there will be no adverse effects on stocks of wild fish.

All marine salmon farms are required under the terms of their aquaculture licences to carry out environmental monitoring at various specified depths and locations around the fish cages. The monitoring covers 13 different parameters, including ammonia, nitrates, total phosphorous, phosphates and silicates. If the results of this monitoring indicate that there is a danger of pollution, the fish farmer will be instructed to reduce the number of fish in the cages or remove them completely if necessary.