Press Statement Glenarm/Red Bay Salmon Farm
MCNI call for Ministerial intervention on the question of Expansion at Glenarm Salmon Farm –“The impact of this decision by the Owner of the Salmon Farm will have a long term impact upon tourism and the proposed Marine Protection Zone (MPZ) being considered by the
Marine Division of DOE”, Claimed Chairman – NigelHamilton
The recent public meeting held in the Cushendall Parish Hall demonstrated the mood of the local
community which was one of anger and frustration for what was no more than a publicity stunt
designed to create a smokescreen. The Marine Conservation Northern Ireland Chairman stated
that “It is worth noting that the professional Vet and Accrediting body were fly- ins from Scotland.
The Storyline was that this is a very safe Salmon Farm which has no negative impact upon the area
and that there would be at this stage no plans for an expansion.”
“Clearly, this was a smoke screen”. claimed Mr Hamilton “The owner is clearly testing the water for
a proposal to expand in the near future and indicated that he is producing 450 plus tonnes of salmon
while he has the right to increase this to 900 tonnes and intends to do so by increasing the cages to
the current limit he can under the current planning application.”It is my intention to write to the
Minister and request an environmental survey be carried out as a matter of urgency.”
“This again is only the tip of the iceberg as the real incentive for this business is to expand their
exports into the Hong Kong market for sushi demand. Someone needs to tell him that the region of
Hong Kong is a Chinese protectorate and therefore he is expanding his business to meet this
growing demand and that will be at the cost of the local tourist and tourist fishing industry . He spent
the evening telling those present that he did not do business with China –how naive does he think
these local people are?”
“The MCNI Spokesman expressed his concern at the likely impact on the agreed location of the
MPZ and suggested that the Department had an obligation to ensure that the urgency for an
Environmental Survey which was now seriously overdue and that its omission infringed EU policy
and Department obligations. One has to question the rationale. Why not carry out this important
procedure and when are NIEA going to carry this out”asked the MCNI Chairman.
“We have a major concern that the information given by the Vet from Scotland was not consistent
nor accurate. There is not a constant tidal flow of 1.7 knots.The tide in the area is strong but for her
statement to be passed off in such a blasé fashion and not challenged by the Marine Division and
NIEA representatives who just hung their heads was totally unacceptable, given that the Vet’s
experience is on Salmon Farms in slow tidal lough’s..raises a question mark over her contribution and
credibility.
“We have found large numbers of lice on flatfish species and argued the case even though we were
dismissed and ignored.The impact of the presence of lice is directly attributable to the Salmon Farm
and has acted like a “Cull”on local indigenous species. Our concern was echoed by many local
anglers.”