Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (208)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

208. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has considered concerns expressed by fishermen regarding the seal population; his views on whether this is a problem and, if so, the action he will take to resolve it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15675/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am aware of fishermen's concerns regarding the seal populations in and around our coasts. With regard to the interaction between seal populations and the conservation of fish stocks, seals eat a wide array of fish and invertebrates. I am informed that their diet appears to vary considerably depending on location, time of year and the abundance of available prey. Seals are a protected species under the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 1976-2005. Insofar as management of the national seal population is concerned, this is a matter for the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Wildlife Acts, which are administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.