The fish farming industry is in a phase of rapid growth; it overtook global beef production in 2012.
While demand soars, wild fish stocks have declined in recent decades, and fish farms are springing up to feed the shortfall.
Today, there are many fish farms along the western seaboard of Ireland in particular, with salmon a popular species to be farmed.
While the sector brings profits, this model of fishing has documented problems with disease, chemical use, waste pollution and welfare concerns.
Recent investigations in the UK, for example, show that farmed salmon offer ample breeding ground for sea lice that can then spread to wild salmon and other species. Inland Fisheries Ireland has previously raised concerns about the potential impact of large-scale salmon farms on wild fish stocks.
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to find out the extent to which salmon farming has an impact on our marine ecosystem and what authorities are doing to ensure that rules and regulations are being followed by companies.
We will use Freedom of Information requests to understand the level of inspection and enforcement action in the sector and for data in relation to stocking rates, fish escapes and chemical use on farms.
We want to speak to scientists and other experts about the potential impacts of industrial scale fish farming, as well as examine possible alternatives such as inland freshwater fish farming that may reduce disease and impacts on the marine ecosystem.
Have you any information that you think would help this investigation? Contact us at [email protected]
If you want to know how your contribution is used, or anything else about how Noteworthy works, you can find out more here.