The drilling platforms are currently in a vital part of the SAC; close to bird feeding and nesting sites. At this time the estuary is also used as a migration route for Atlantic Salmon which are an Annex 1 species (the most protected EU category). They are very vulnerable to suffocation by suspended solids in the water clogging their gills and today we saw evidence of sediment spewing into the estuary from the boreholes. Movement of the platforms will also release suspended solids; endangering the supposedly protected salmon. This directly contravenes the purpose of the SAC which Minister Gormley seems to conveniently forget when it comes to facilitating big business here in Mayo but likes to remind us at other times such as on 2nd August in relation to restricting leisure activities to protect SAC's, the Minister said;
“Along with other EU States, Ireland has designated certain areas for nature protection and, in those areas, that must be our priority. Many people, indeed, find recreation in the enjoyment of undisturbed nature,” he concluded .
Indeed Gormley, that is what the people of Erris have been saying for 10 years; its time to protect this SAC from Shell!
John Gormley's recent press release: