Written Answers. - Fisheries Protection.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

178 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the reason his Department did not get an independent assessment of the extent of the pollution in and threat to marine life in Inver Bay, County Donegal, arising from the massive fish kill at Ocean Farm Limited, there in July 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21983/02]

Diving investigations carried out by my Department earlier this year led to the discovery of significant numbers of dead fish under and adjacent to a cage at a fish farm in Inver Bay, County Donegal. The company concerned, Ocean Farm Limited, was directed to provide a comprehensive report on all matters relevant to the detection of the dead fish, and their plans for rectifying the situation.

The report was prepared by Aqua-Fact International Services Limited. and was examined in detail by my Department in conjunction with the Marine Institute. It was concluded that, in all the circumstances, the recommendations made by the consultants represented the appropriate way to deal with the situation. My Department sought and obtained from the company an assurance that the recommendations made by the consultants would be implemented in full. Monthly monitoring of the area concerned is being carried out and will continue until ambient conditions are reached.