The production figures sought by the Deputy are not available as this information is deemed to be commercially sensitive. My Department’s Marine Engineering Division publishes it’s reports of inspections of finfish farms on my Department’s website www.agriculture.gov.ie, and the 2018 report, containing information on standing stock figures, will be available in the near future.
Under EU Directive 2006/88/EC, operators of fish farms are obliged to report the presence or suspicion of the presence of OIE-listed diseases to the Competent Authority. The Competent Authority in the case of fish health in Ireland is the Marine Institute. No diseases listed in EU Directive 2006/88/EC were recorded in Ireland in 2018 or to date in 2019. In addition, a voluntary arrangement is in place for operators of marine salmon farms to report mortalities above defined levels (less than 1% in fish over 750g) to the Competent Authority.
The production site referred to by the Deputy at Ardmore exceeded trigger values for voluntary reporting of increased mortality for a 7-week period between August and September 2018. The reported causes of mortality were multifactorial, but were not attributable to reportable disease agents under EU Directive 2006/88/EC. No increased mortality has been reported since. Furthermore all marine salmon farms in Ireland are inspected on an annual basis by my Department’s veterinary inspectors acting on behalf of the Competent Authority for fish health purposes.
The production site referred to by the Deputy at Ardmore was inspected in June 2018 and no issues were noted during the inspection.
My Department’s records do not indicate any reports of fish escapes from the salmon farm in question during the period referred to by the Deputy.