Marine Institute responds to salmon mortalities allegation

The Marine Institute has refuted claims by the Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages group that cardiomyopathy syndrome was responsible for salmon mortalities earlier this year at three Connemara aquaculture sites, saying such allegations “are false”.

The institute said that while this “non-listed disease” was diagnosed on a salmon farm in the southwest of Ireland earlier this year, it was “not responsible for mortalities at sites in Connemara”.

The institute went on to say: “This disease has no impact on human health and is not listed as a disease which should be subject to control measures either under EU Regulations (Council Directive 2006/88/EC ) or by the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health ). Clinical cases of cardiomyopathy syndrome have only been reported in farmed Atlantic salmon.

“Earlier this year, during August and September, stinger jellyfish swarms resulted in significant mortalities at three aquaculture sites in the west, and one in the southwest of the country. Such jelly fish incursions are natural phenomena, which occur without warning and which can result in significant mortalities of both farmed and wild fish. Appropriate veterinary intervention occurred on each site which was affected by these jellyfish swarms and dead fish were removed and disposed of in compliance with Animal By-Product Regulations.

The Marine Institute said it was monitoring the situation as the Competent Authority for the implementation of Council Directive 2006/88/EC and as the designated National Reference Laboratory for finfish diseases under that legislation.

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