Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (489)

Martin Ferris


489. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the cost of research that has been carried out nationally since 2010 on grey seals; the costs under research headings (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5179/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department has not carried out research on grey seals nationally in the requested time period.

Seals are a protected species under the EU Habitats Directive and seals are also protected under the Wildlife Acts. I am advised two species of seals, grey seals and harbour seals, are common in Irish waters. In so far as the management of the seal population is concerned, I wish to clarify for the Deputy that this is the responsibility of the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and it is administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

I will forward your question to both the Marine Institute and Bord Iascaigh Mhara for direct reply to provide the requested information in respect of these agencies.