EU to reopen Irish sea lice inquiry
The European Commission is reopening its investigation into allegations of sea lice in Irish salmon farms after environmental groups, including Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), claimed the Irish government withheld a report on the subject to E.U. investigators.
The commission closed its initial inquiry in September 2012, but FIE claimed investigators never got to see a key report on sea lice conditions by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the government's fisheries department.
The FIE lodged a complaint with the Irish government and the E.U. earlier this year, alleging the Irish Department of Agriculture withheld the report from E.U. investigators. The Irish Ombudsman's office has opened its own inquiry into the department and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.
A spokesman for Salmon Watch Ireland, another Irish environmental group, praised the commission's decision, calling it "a very significant development."
The Irish government has until 15 January 2014 to reply to the commission.