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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 11 Jun 1996

Vol. 466 No. 6

Written Answers. - Sea Trout Report.

Michael Smith


167 Mr. M. Smith asked the Minister for the Marine the reason recommendation 3.3.2 of the second report of the Sea Trout Monitoring and Advisory Group has not been implemented; when officials from his Department will be instructed to take part in this vital monitoring; the status of the monitoring information gathered to date without the involvement of officials from the Marine Institute or his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12038/96]

The Second Report of the Sea Trout Monitoring and Advisory Group, which was presented last March, recommends that Department of the Marine and-or Marine Institute officials participate as observers in the national sea trout sampling programme. I can confirm that officials of the Marine Institute have been instructed to attend at a representative number of samplings and have been doing so since 23 May last.

The sea trout sampling programme, which has been in place since 1992, involves the sampling by staff of the regional fisheries boards of sea trout from key rivers in order to determine comparative levels of infestation of sea lice in sea trout populations. Samples are analysed by Trinity College Dublin which prepares a report each year for the Sea Trout Scientific Working Group.
The recommendation of the Sea Trout Monitoring and Advisory Group was the result of agreement in the group that arrangements for monitoring and overseeing the sea trout sampling programme should follow as closely as possible those which apply to the fish farm inspection programme. Staff of the regional fisheries boards attend as observers at fish farm inspections which are carried out by contract staff employed by the Marine Institute.
All data derived from sea trout sampling programmes during the season will have to be assessed and validated by reference to all relevant scientific and other criteria.