Lough Group Welcomes EU Recommendations. – Fishupdate.com

Lough Swilly…objective analysis of use asked for

Lough Group Welcomes EU Recommendations. Fish Farming Today Published:  25 September, 2002

THE European Commission’s recommendation for a more democratic policy shaping of the management of coastal areas has been welcomed by the organisation ‘Save the Swilly’, which is calling for a moratorium on aquaculture licensing in Lough Swilly in Ireland, until risks and rewards of differing uses are assessed.

The EC statement acknowledged that there is a potential conflict in coastal areas and said: “Stakeholders have not been sufficiently involved in policy shaping.”

A spokesman for Save the Swilly, an umbrella organisation representing 35 groups, said the group’s substantial investment in the recently released ‘Scoping Study for an ICZM Strategy for Lough Swilly’ was designed expressly to address the issue raised by the EC. “Various groups are not working together to make best use of [Lough Swilly’s] valuable resource . . . Subsequently, major economic development opportunities are being missed.”

“All we have asked for is a genuine, independent and objective analysis of the best uses of Lough Swilly,” said Mr Tony Morrison, the group’s chairman. “We do not see commercial fishing, both white fish and inshore, as a ‘hindrance’ to anything. Rather, these are traditional and legitimate pursuits of indigenous people, who are now confronted by the encroachment of a new competitor, aquaculture.”

Mr Morrison added that the group does not deny that aquaculture has a right to exist, “but we – and obviously, the EC agrees – believe other users are not being given their due regard.”