My Department is working with other relevant Departments and agencies towards the conclusion of a management agreement for both the Foyle and Carlingford areas in order to facilitate the eventual acquisition by the Loughs Agency of aquaculture licensing functions for these Loughs. The Deputy will appreciate that this is a complex task requiring the participation of a number of stakeholders.
My Department has recently organised a meeting of senior officials from a number of lead Departments involved and a second meeting is planned for the coming weeks. The purpose of these cross Departmental meetings is to arrive at an agreed way forward in terms of the future management of activities on Lough Foyle while pursuing a parallel workable resolution to the complex jurisdictional issues involved. The latter aspect in particular will require careful and detailed consideration to bring about an agreed way forward.
Due to the complex legal and jurisdictional complexities involved and the necessity for the involvement at a later stage of a number of other agencies, including the Crown Estates, it is not possible at this stage to give final timeframes for the resolution of this matter.