Ostend – Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir today confirmed on appeal that an environmental permit has been obtained for the salmon farm of the Norwegian company Colombi Salmon in the inland port of Ostend. This is the largest industrial salmon farm in Europe, producing 12,000 tons of Atlantic salmon annually. The delegation of the province of West Flanders had already granted a permit on 8 December 2022, but due to appeals from Climaxi and Bond Peter Lefmeliu (also on behalf of Greenpeace Belgium, Natuurpunt, WWF Belgium and the West Flemish Environmental Federation), the for-profit animal rights organization GAIA and local residents did not, The file has been raised to the Flemish level.
The requested project includes establishing a salmon farm in Ostend to produce 12,000 tons of Atlantic salmon annually. The application relates to land-based aquaculture, through a RAS (Recycling Aquaculture System) facility. The professional petitioners cited, among other things, the safety of salmon as a counterargument, as well as the question of whether this activity belongs to the port.
“In Flanders, the salmon welfare criterion cannot be taken into account as a basis for evaluating environmental permits,” Demir’s government said in a press release. “The application is also located in an area designated for a seaport, a regional business park in the seaport area, and a waterway infrastructure area. The application is therefore in principle compatible with applicable urban development regulations.”. The regulations also do not prohibit aquaculture. Furthermore, the nature of the application is more industrial due to the larger buildings. Therefore, the area is suitable for this activity.”
“My role is to evaluate the applications regarding urban planning regulations and environmental impact,” Minister Zuhal Demir said. “In this regard, the application also complies with all advisory bodies, provided that strict conditions are imposed. We are doing the latter. Additional stringent discharge standards will also apply to wastewater and measures must be taken to reduce the risk of soil contamination.” Demir says.
Norwegian District of Columbia promises to create 100 jobs in Ostend.
“Coffee buff. Twitter fanatic. Tv practitioner. Social media advocate. Pop culture ninja.”