Projects

See the current and most recent work we've been involved with to develop the seafood industry

A sustainable future for Ireland's coastal and island communities

BIM is applying for a licence to farm Atlantic salmon off the west coast of Ireland. We aim to facilitate the development of three deep sea organic salmon farms that can accommodate safe, efficient, and sustainable fish farming to meet market demand and create sustainable jobs in an area where they are needed.

Todhchaí inbhuanaithe do phobail oileán agus chósta na hÉireann...

Growing market for affordable, high-quality organic salmon

Ireland has a strong reputation for its organic farmed salmon, partly because of the rigorous standards imposed on Irish salmon farms. The demand for Irish salmon is growing, and the value of the export market has increased 18% since 2008.

The proposed deep sea fish farm in Galway Bay could produce up to 15,000 tonnes of organic salmon every year, worth €102 million annually, and with a wages flow of about €14.5 million, directly into the local economy. This level of production will help employ local people in long-term jobs.

1.0.1.228x140.jpgThe Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that, globally, an extra 42 million tonnes of farmed seafood will be required annually by the year 2030. Sustainable fish farming is one way to meet this global food need.

We want to ensure that Ireland’s role in the expansion of commercial aquaculture is done responsibly, and that the companies who hold the contracts to operate our fish farms are held accountable to the Irish public.

How is the Deep Sea Project different?

Instead of the fish farming licence being given directly to a private company, we are applying for a salmon farm licence which, if issued, we will franchise to a commercial operator. The company will then be required to adhere to the already rigorous EU and Irish conditions, as well as additional layers of strict requirements that we’ve set.

This will ensure that the fish farms meet organic standards and demonstrate a real commitment to sustainable production. The first of these three projects is in Galway Bay. The proposed site is 1.7km from the nearest land mass, much further out to sea than conventional fish farms.

Its distance from shore, the wave action at the site, and the amount of space alloted to each enclosure, combined with our strict regulations, minimise all of the issues that can be cause for concern. Read more about the proposed organic salmon farm in Galway Bay

A salmon leapingThe licensing process

As part of the process of carrying out the required Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), we consulted both formally and informally with a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties. The EIA also involves carrying out scientific investigations to ensure that there are no overriding environmental constraints.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a large part of what determines whether we get the licence. This means that before we even impose our standards on any commercial operation, there has been extensive research to ensure that the proposed fish farm would meet standards set out by EU directives and state regulations.

Fish farming and sustainability

We also understand that there is a range of conflicting information available about fish farms, and that some of the issues it raises require clarification and dialogue. Not all fish farming is the same, and we invite open communication about the future of sustainable organic fish farming in Irish waters.

BIM is committed to meeting the highest environmental standards, using the most advanced technology to protect our environment and improve efficiency, and we will impose exacting regulations that will protect our waters as well as support our coastal and island communities.

If you have questions that are not answered by the information or links to resources we’ve supplied here, please contact us at  deepsea@bim.ie

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