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Cork farm decision due

The Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) has requested more information about likely environmental impacts before granting a licence for the proposed new salmon farm off Shot Head, West Cork. Prof Owen McIntyre, chair of the oral hearing, requested an environmental impact statement from the company making the application, Marine Harvest Ireland: “addressing the likely risk of sea-lice infestation of wild salmonids migrating from/to the Dromagowlane and Trafask Rivers, and any resulting implications for local freshwater pearl mussel populations, based on available research and data, and an assessment of the potential impact of salmon farm waste on water quality” reported the Irish Examiner. The board has also sought Environmental Impact Assessments on the otter population of the Dromagowlane and Trafask catchments, the common seal populations in the Glengarriff Harbour and Woodland Special Area of Conservation, and the wild birds within nearby Special Protected Areas. A final decision will be given no later than October 31, 2018. Marine Harvest Ireland is Ireland’s largest producer of farmed salmon. There were 14 appellants to the licence application, including Save Bantry Bay and Salmon Watch Ireland, who contest the suitability of the site.

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