Written Answers. - Seal Population.

Enda Kenny

Question:

58 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the estimated population of seals which migrated from Scotland to Inishkea Islands on the north coast of Mayo on an annual basis; the results of counting exercises carried out by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3986/02]

I have no direct function in the management of seals which are a protected species under the terms of the wildlife Acts administered by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. These Acts provide for measures for the management of the seal population and consideration of any such measures and associated data collection requirements such as migration and population patterns is accordingly a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands.

In the context of a general concern about the possible impact of seal predation in Irish fisheries, two reports have been undertaken and published in recent years, firstly by BIM in 1997 and secondly by UCD, on BIM's behalf, in 2001. I am arranging to transmit a copy of each report to the Deputy.

Question No. 59 answered with Question No. 6.