John Ross Jr Smoked Salmon

Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) launched a national boycott of farmed smoked salmon for Christmas has been launched as part of the protest against the expansion of the salmon farming along the Irish coast.

The campaign, with the slogan “boycott farmed smoked salmon this Christmas and give a gift to the environment,” said the expansion contradicts the moratorium on fish farms agreed under the National Development Plan’s Irish Seafood National Program 2007 to 2013, published July 2010. This ruled that no increase in production would take place until the sea lice issue had been addressed.

“The public does not realize that countless scientific papers have shown without a doubt that salmon farming in the current locations in Ireland will decimate our own wild fish stocks and pollute our bays. Battery operations like this on land would have their waste strictly controlled, not released into the open. Salmon farming must be done in contained units that protect the environment and create a barrier to infections and parasites,” said FIE in a statement. “We are asking people to forgo one of their favorite Christmas fare to support the call to protect our wild salmon and its waters.”

The boycott was condemned by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) as an act of sabotage on vital farming and processing sectors.

“This reckless posturing by Friends of the Irish Environment could undermine what is a quality product at a very important time of the year for sales. People enjoy smoked Irish salmon, especially over Christmas, and they should not be discouraged from buying it because of an ill-thought out of malicious protest,” said Richie Flynn, IFA aquaculture executive. “Unfortunately, Friends of the Irish Environment do not appear to be interested in jobs, exports or the facts. Their attempt to target smoked salmon is little more than a stunt, which unfortunately could be very costly for Irish jobs and exports.”

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