Anglers and environmentalists have called on the Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney to intervene to prevent the establishment of a number of major salmon farm projects at various locations off the Irish coast.
About 200 campaigners from as far away as Donegal, Fermanagh and Galway as well as from Cork, Kerry and Tipperary converged in Carrigaline in Co Cork on Saturday, from where they marched to Mr Coveney’s constituency office and handed in a letter of protest.
Mr Coveney was not at the office at the time, but the protesters held a rally where speakers urged him to heed warnings that further salmon farms at sea would lead to an increase in sea lice and damage wild Atlantic salmon stocks.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara has applied for a licence for a €60 million deep-sea salmon farm on a 500 hectare site in the lee of Inis Oírr, the most southerly of the Aran Islands, with the promise of creating 500 jobs in the area.
Separately, Norwegian owned company Marine Harvest Island is proposing a €3.5 million salmon farm for Shot Head off Adrigole in Bantry Bay in west Cork as part of a €14 million investment in its 16 aquaculture sites in Irish waters.