Written Answers. - Commencement Orders.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

234 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the Acts or sections or other provisions of Acts under the auspices of his Department or for the commencement of which his Department is responsible which have not commenced by reason of the fact that a commencement order has not been made; if he has any plans to make such an order in each case; if so, when; the reason for the failure in each case to make such an order to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19631/00]

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to Acts or other provisions of Acts under the auspices of my Department is set out as follows.

The Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Act, 2000, No. 14 of 2000, sections 1 to 43, provides for the enactment by the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources of a new legislative regime to regulate the entire area of marine casualty investigation in Ireland. The key feature of this new regime will be the establishment of an independent marine casualty investigation board which will carry out investigations and publish reports of their findings within a specified statutory timeframe. My Department is currently working on the administrative arrangements necessary to set up the board and it is intended that a commencement order will be made to commence sections 1 to 43 of the Act as soon as these arrangements have been put in place.

Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1997, No. 23 Section 13 re. period for determination of applications for aquaculture licences. The clearance of considerable arrears of aquaculture licence applications arising under earlier legislation is the priority; the question of commencing section 13 will be reviewed early in 2001 in the light of progress at that stage in clearing these arrears.