Aquaculture producers and members of the Irish Farmer Association have expressed concerns over the Government’s proposal to dump almost 100.000 tonnes of fine peaty silt in Donegal bay.
“We are all in favor of coastal economic development and the extension of facilities in Killybegs which require dredging, but the consequences of the Department’s proposals to dump the spoil in a site which was previously associated with fish kills would outweigh the benefits by ruining the livelihoods of oyster, mussel and salmon farmers in the bay,” said Executive of IFA Aquaculture, Richie Flynn.
“The site is too close to our members, too close to Natura 2000 sites and the level of monitoring proposed is totally inadequate, given the scale of the potential losses involved. The models used for dispersion are out of date and most significantly the peaty nature of the silt has not been taken into account.
“This material will drift and spread throughout the bay, potentially causing damage to up to €50 million of our stocks and threatening 150 jobs.”
Richie Flynn said that the EPA must find an alternative site far away from any aquaculture or fishing grounds.