Thursday, 27 June 2019

Questions (213)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

213. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the treatments pertaining to the 17 orders to treat from the Marine Institute to salmon farmers since November 2017 to control sea lice infestations were chemical treatments; if so, the type and amount of chemicals used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27389/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

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 and

- treatment trigger levels are set at a low level.

As set out in the document “A Strategy for Improved Pest Control on Irish Salmon farms,” a Notice to Treat is issued to a salmon farm if the sea lice levels exceed the specified set treatment trigger levels.

The method of treatment is a matter for the salmon farm and its privately contracted veterinary/fish health professionals and is not specified by the Marine Institute. On completion of the treatment, the Marine Institute conducts a follow-up inspection to determine sea lice levels on the farm.

The sea lice monitoring and control programme in Ireland is widely acknowledged as representing best practice.