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Letters to the Editor: Open net cage salmon farms should be phased out

January 1st, 2022 3:10 PM

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EDITOR – A recent ‘science based’ report by 13 competent Norwegian scientists from the Norwegian Scientific Advisory Committee for Atlantic Salmon, has found that the main cause of the decline in the numbers of wild Atlantic salmon returning to Norwegian rivers is the adverse effects of salmon farming. This committee is appointed by the Norwegian Environment Agency to evaluate annually, the status of wild Atlantic salmon in Norway.

The main conclusions of the report states that: ‘The reasons for the decline of Atlantic salmon are impacts of human activities in combination with a large-scale decline in the sea survival. The largest population declines are seen in western and middle Norway, and negative impacts of salmon farming have contributed to this. Escaped farmed salmon, salmon lice and infections related to salmon farming are the greatest anthropogenic threats to Norwegian wild salmon. The present mitigation measures are insufficient to stabilise and reduce these threats.’

It also states: ‘In terms of the reductions in population size the same four impacts were the most severe, but with salmon lice having the most negative impact, followed by escaped farmed salmon, hydropower production and other habitat alterations. In addition to reducing population size, escaped farmed salmon, also genetically alter the wild populations.’

It continues: ‘Climate change impacts Atlantic salmon populations negatively. Climate change increases the need to reduce the impacts of other threats to support the ability of Atlantic salmon to adapt to changing environments.’

This recent ‘science based’ report which is based on past and present scientific research proves beyond all reasonable doubt that salmon farming has a detrimental effect on wild Atlantic salmon stocks.

Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages (GBASC) are now calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, that in light of the findings of this ‘science based’ Norwegian report, he should now order a moratorium on all new and renewal applications for salmon farm licences and to phase out as soon as possible all existing open net cage salmon farms in Irish waters.

Billy Smyth,

Chairman, Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages,

Shantalla, Galway.

Keep up the good (recycling) work

EDITOR – We used to dream of a white Christmas, but now a green Christmas dominates our thoughts. In Ireland, we are expected to generate 95,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas and New Year, so not only is Christmas the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the time when recycling bins are at their fullest.

To ensure Ireland reaches its future recycling targets under the EU’s circular economy package, we are encouraging everyone to educate themselves on how to reduce, reuse and recycle more and better.

Since September, all plastics can go into the recycling bin, so common items such as bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, bread wrappers, and chocolate and biscuit trays can all be placed in the recycling bin this Christmas and New Year.

The effects of the pandemic have impacted how people have chosen to shop for presents again this year but the packaging waste generated from online sales will create a heavy influx of materials for waste operators to process.

While some online retailers leave their packaging waste on the Irish market without contributing to the cost of recycling, over 3,500 of our members meet their obligations to recycle the packaging they place on the Irish market and also help fund household recycling bins, bottle banks and civic amenities.

This Christmas and New Year, we are asking the Irish public to be more mindful of protecting the environment and dispose of their packaging waste in a responsible manner.

Currently in Ireland, we are exceeding the EU plastic recycling target of 22.5% but achieving plastic recycling targets of 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030 will require a concerted effort from everyone in Ireland.

We are doing well, but we have to keep up the good work.

Thank you and Happy New Year,

Séamus Clancy,

Chief executive

Repak,

Ballymount,

Dublin 22.

Living under a brutal regime

EDITOR – As somebody who has lived in Afghanistan, under Taliban ‘rule’ (1998/99) – let me commend your recent editorial on the difficulties faced by the Afghan people, under Taliban rule. News items appear on TV, radio, newspapers and them disappear from matters of interest – however for people forced to live in the affected areas life must go on.

Taliban in particular are a brutal element, who believe their particular religious beliefs permit them to murder, plunder, pillage and rape at will. Unless one has personal experience I would say it is impossible to comprehend the sufferings of the Afghan people at present.

Many will be aware of the fact that females cannot be educated or work.  But there are many other difficulties for Afghan people now.

Well done to the various aid agencies who are attempting to assist the people in these difficult times.

And well done to The Southern Star for continuing to highlight the plight of the unfortunate Afghan people.

Michael A Moriarty,

Rochestown,

Cork.

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