KINSALE Yacht Club is objecting to plans by a Waterford-based shellfish company for an aquaculture licence for a 61-acre mussel farm in an area near the Dock beach and James Fort.
In a letter posted on its website, the club said it uses the proposed location for activities throughout the year, as well as maintaining a permanent mooring for race management. The club also lays and retrieves sailing marks continually in this location.
‘This proposed mussel bed is in an area of strong tidal current. In addition, the sea bed of this part of the harbour changes regularly with winter storms and changed utterly after Storm Ophelia in 2017, which moved the harbour ‘bar’ some distance northwards and created new shallows where previously none existed,’ the objection adds.
The letter, signed by Commodore David O’Sullivan, said that any mussel bed planted in this location will be dispersed by the tide and, more particularly, by winter storms.
‘Had there been a mussel farm in this proposed location prior to Storm Ophelia, it would have been completely washed away upriver towards Kinsale town,’ it stated.
The letter added that the application ‘is for an area of 25 hectares and the potential for indiscriminate mussel growth on our 200-berth marina and our many mooring buoys is unlimited.’
The club also claimed that there was ‘little or no meaningful information’ in the application about how the mussel beds are to be created, maintained and how the dredging process will be undertaken and that ‘there can be no justification for locating a mussel farm in this beautiful tourist destination.’
Woodstown Bay Shellfish Ltd, with an address at The Harbour, Dunmore East, Co Waterford has applied to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the licence.
In its application the company said that a previous trial licence on the site was successful. It added that the firm has more than 20 years’ experience in oyster cultivation and 15 years’ experience in ‘bottom mussel cultivation’ at other sites around the country.
The closing date for submissions from members of the public on the application is March 6th.
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