In the Dáil today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Ferris TD asked Minister Simon Coveney if he was aware that the salmon farm proposed for the Aran Islands would be the largest in Europe and seven times larger than any facility in Scotland.
The minister responded that he was relying heavily on the Marine Institute and scientists in his department in making a decision about this salmon farm and that his decision would be open to appeal if people were not satisfied with it.
Deputy Ferris responded that he had visited a facility in Scotland and that people in the industry there were amazed at the size proposed in the Aran Islands.
He said: “My concern is that the presentation from Bord Iascaigh Mhara, which was excellent, was at odds with the position taken by another state agency.
“The maximum size in Scotland is 2,000 tonnes but we are proposing 15,000 tonnes. As elected representatives, we have an obligation to protect what is left of wild salmon.
“Some of the salmon coming up the rivers in Scotland has no historical connection to their spawning grounds. The Scottish experts were unable to explain that. Some of the salmon may have arrived due to cross-contamination or escapes. These issues must be taken into account.”