The control protocols for the management of sea lice are operated by the Marine Institute on behalf of the State. These protocols are more advanced than those operated in other jurisdictions for the following reasons:
- the inspection regime is totally independent of the industry
- data obtained as a result of inspection is published and made widely available
- treatment trigger levels are set at a low level
The use of mechanical treatments for sea lice control is an operational issue for salmon farm operators. It is not a regulatory requirement for the Marine Institute to approve or record the use of mechanical treatments for sea lice and, therefore, the information requested by the Deputy is not available.
The sea lice monitoring and control programme in Ireland is widely acknowledged as representing best practice.