Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (536)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

536. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of aquaculture installations operating in Lough Swilly; the number of these which are licensed here; the aquaculture installations in Lough Swilly for which an appropriate assessment has been undertaken by the authorities; the actions being taken to deal with unlicensed operations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9317/18]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department’s records indicate that nine aquaculture sites are licensed to operate in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act. An Appropriate Assessment Report addressing the potential ecological impacts of aquaculture activities and fishing in and adjacent to the Lough Swilly Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA) was completed in 2013.

In addition, Screening Matrices were carried out for aquaculture activities located in the northern portion of the Lough which were outside the SAC/SPA and the qualifying features of same. These Reports are available on the Department’s website at the following link:

https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/seafood/aquacultureforeshoremanagement/aquaculturelicensing/appropriateassessmentsscreeningcarriedout/

It is unlawful to engage in aquaculture activity on State foreshore except in accordance with the provisions of the applicable national and EU legislation. My Department, in conjunction with its technical, scientific and legal advisers, investigates instances of unauthorised aquaculture activity in accordance with the applicable legislation as a matter of standard procedure.