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Fisheries Protection.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 5 May 2005

Thursday, 5 May 2005

Questions (37)

Joan Burton


14 Ms Burton asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources his policy with regard to the further licensing of mussel longline areas within Kilmakillogue harbour, County Kerry, in view of the grave concerns expressed recently by a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14377/05]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

The Department has received applications for the renewal of aquaculture licences granted in Kilmackillogue harbour for the cultivation of mussels on longlines. While the Department would wish to proceed with the consideration of these applications, it has certain concerns about the manner in which aquaculture is being conducted in the area, and compliance with licence requirements.

Specifically, it appears that certain operations are not being conducted entirely within the boundaries of the licensed areas. In addition, a number of the sites are poorly maintained and contain longlines that are out of alignment, thus creating unnecessary visual intrusion.

There are indications also that, in many instances, stocking density, in terms of longlines per hectare, has been excessive. This can lead to slow growth and affect the quality of the harvested product. It is proposed that officials of the Department will meet the Kilmackillogue operators shortly with a view to addressing these issues and concerns. The aim will be to determine a framework within which aquaculture can continue and progress in the area in an orderly and sustainable manner. It would be inappropriate, pending the resolution of these issues in relation to the existing aquaculture operations, to consider further licensing of sites in Kilmackillogue.