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Launch Of Farmed Salmon Boycott 2015

category national | environment | press release author Monday December 14, 2015 23:20author by foie - Friends of the Irish Environmentauthor email admin at friendsoftheirishenvironment dot orgauthor address Kilcatherine, Eyeries, Co Cork, Ireland.author phone 353 (0)27 74771 Report this post to the editors

PRESS RELEASE - Monday 14 December 2015

‘I will not touch farmed salmon because it is a totally unnatural product.’

Eamon O’Cuiv, TD, Committee on Agriculture Fisheries and Food, 1 December 2015

Representatives from 12 organisations opposing open pen salmon farms across Ireland have joined together to support the 2015 BOYCOTT FARMED SALMON FOR CHRISTMAS campaign, launched today.


The campaign website www.wildfish.ie provides information on the dangers of farmed salmon and downloadable stickers for supporters to use to spread the message.


A statement from the Campaign said: ‘Simon Coveney is committed to a massive increase in Ireland’s output of farmed salmon with 8 further farms along the Irish coast proposed by his Agency. A licence to double Ireland’s farmed salmon output in one super-farm in Galway Bay is under consideration while a recent grant of permission for the expansion of the Norwegian multi-national Marine Harvest in Bantry Bay is currently under appeal.


The group has written to Eamon O’Cuiv, TD, who raised this issue on 1 December at the Oireachtas Agriculture Food and Fisheries Committee Hearings. The Deputy said:

‘No one can try to tell me that organic fish farmers do not use chemicals to control for various diseases or lice. Fish produced on such farms can be labelled as organic but I would take the hill lamb over such a fish any day, in terms of it being a natural product. I will not touch farmed salmon because it is a totally unnatural product.’

The campaign has written to Deputy O’Cuiv with the results of chemicals found in pre-slaughter tests of Irish ‘organic’ salmon produced by Marine Harvest, the Norwegian company who produce most of Ireland’s farmed salmon. The Information Commissioner for Environmental Information overruled the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Food’s 2012 refusal to release any test results. The report of pre-slaughter tests released last month confirm that multi-chemical usage, as the Deputy suggested, are the norm in this industry.


One laboratory report on a single fish slaughtered for human consumption reported in July 2012 showed a total of 10 chemical residues. These included two chemicals designed to paralyse the nervous system of insects like lice (Deltamethrin and Emamectin), the antibiotic Oxytetracycline, the anaesthetic tricaine mesilate, and four anti-oxidants used in the salmon’s food supply (Butylated hydroxytoluene [BHT], Butylated hydroxyanisole [BHA]. Ethoxyquin, Ethoxyquin D) as well as two forms of the illegal dye [1] Malachite green and Leuco malachite green which according to the Marine Institute should never be present in the food chain.

6 of the 10 chemicals are not listed by Marine Harvest on their ‘Positive Medicine List’ of chemicals they use.

The anti-parasite chemicals Deltamethrin and Emamectin require a withdrawal period in the United States but not in the European Union. Ethoxyquin is not approved for use in the European Union, Australia, or New Zealand. Butylated hydroxytoluene has been banned in Japan since 1958; General Mills and Kellogg's announced in February 2015, following a petition by consumers, that they were going to phase Butylated hydroxytoluene out.

While the residues tests were within the permitted limits at the time, health concerns led to the tightening of the standards for the level of the illegal substance malachite green in 2014, according to ‘The National Surveillance Monitoring Programme for Residues in Farmed Fish’.


The Boycott campaign is seeking the 2014 & 2015 pre-slaughter tests, but has again been refused access by the Department of the Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries.

‘There are many other reasons for consumers to avoid farmed salmon’, a statement from the campaign said. ‘The king of fish likes to roam freely from the river of his birth, covering vast distances even as far as Greenland before faithfully returning home. Now we are told by the Department of Agriculture, who determines the national ‘organic’ standards, that these untouched wild fish are not ‘organic’ and only those raised in pens, polluting our waters, and subjected to a range of chemicals unprecedented in our food chain can qualify as ‘organic’

‘The use of chemicals at this level in food for human consumption makes a mockery of the ‘organic’ label, which is awarded by the same Department that is promoting farmed salmon. If the public was aware of this industry’s practice, they would never buy farmed salmon.’

See the test results



Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages 086 3511628
Save Bantry Bay 087 7949 227
Friends of the Irish Environment 087 2176316
Visit the website


NGOs supporting the campaign include: An Taisce, Aran Against Salmon Farms, Coastwatch, Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers [FISSTA], Forest Friends Friends of the Earth Friends of the Irish Environment, Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages, Irish Seal Sanctuary, No Salmon Farms at Sea, Salmon Watch Ireland, Save Bantry Bay

[1] Article 6 of Directive 2001/82/EC requires the inclusion of pharmacologically active substances in Annex I, II or III of Regulation 2377/90. Malachite green and leuco malachite green are not included in these Annexes and have never been evaluated according to this regulation. The use of this substance in food producing animals is therefore illegal. [The National Surveillance Monitoring Programme for Residues in Farmed Fish, 2011]

Friends of the Irish Environment is a non-profit company limited by guarantee registered in Ireland.

It is a member of the European Environmental Bureau and the Irish Environmental Network.

Registered Office: Kilcatherine, Eyeries, Co Cork, Ireland. Company No. 326985.

Tel & Fax: 353 (0)27 74771 Email: admin@friendsoftheirishenvironment.org

Directors: Caroline Lewis, Tony Lowes

Related Link: http://friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/press-releases/17331-launch-of-farmed-salmon-boycott-2015-reveals-illegal-chemicals
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