SIR – Following on from Sir David Attenborough’s recent film to mark the International Year of the Salmon (IYS), he accuses salmon farms of ‘threatening the very survival’ of wild salmon. There are stacks of scientific evidence and information that back up his comments.
The salmon farm industry has been plagued with serious ongoing problems in Ireland, Scotland and Norway.
Fish disease and sea lice levels have become rampant, and in many cases, out of control. Fish escapes are another serious problem. These issues continue to impact on our valuable recreational fishing sector that’s worth €836m to the Irish economy each year.
It’s high time the Irish government realised that the time to move these farms away from sea is now. Land-based closed containment systems offer a much better deal to the environment, salmon farmers and anglers.
Our neighbours in Denmark and USA have successfully used land-based systems to raise Atlantic salmon.
There is less need of chemical and antibiotic use to treat disease and parasites. For the first time, land-based farmed salmon will be sold in UK and American supermarkets. Ireland must follow this track to ensure everyone gets a fair deal and that our environment is preserved for future generations.