Single Bay Management arrangements for fin-fish farms are designed to co-ordinate husbandry practices to promote best practice on individual farms and to ensure that stocking, fallowing and treatment regimes on individual farms are compatible with the arrangements on neighbouring farms.
The goal is to ensure that practices on individual farms act synergistically to enhance the beneficial effects to the bay as a whole. A major component in this process is creating a communication network between the operators. The non-confrontational environment of Single Bay Management meetings between licensed operators has proved a valuable forum in the process of conflict resolution and avoidance, both within the industry and between the industry and it's neighbours.
The Single Bay Management process has proved very effective, since its introduction in 1997, in enhancing the efficacy of lice control and in reducing the overall incidence of disease in the stocks. Single Bay Management plans are subject to revision for each production cycle. This arises out of changes in production plans related to: new license applications; in response to changing markets; new husbandry requirements; and both internal company restructuring and inter-company agreements.
Crucial elements in the success of this plan are identified as:
- Separation of generations.
- Annual fallowing of sites.
- Strategic application of chemotherapeutants.
- Good fish health management.
- Close co-operation between farms.
This management strategy was endorsed by the then Department of Marine, the Sea Trout Task Force and the Irish Salmon Growers Association as fundamental to the rational management of the salmon farming industry. This practice has since been reinforced with the introduction by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of "A strategy for improved pest control on Irish salmon farms", published in May 2008. This strategy seeks to establish a new role for Single Bay Management as a focus for management cells to manage sea lice control at a local and regional level.
The Marine Institute facilitates the implementation of this process and Single Bay Management plans for each bay are updated annually.