Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (208)

Brendan Griffin


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]

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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.