Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (795, 796, 797)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

795. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide copies of each boat licence granted for fisheries and the historic tracks of vessels when dredging for seed since 18 September 2019, in view of the ongoing wild mussel seed dredging in accordance with SI No. 464 of 2019, Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction (Mussel Seed) (Opening of Fisheries) Regulations 2019. [44601/19]

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Eamon Ryan

Question:

796. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the economic contribution that mussel seed dredging and mussel bottom grown aquaculture play in the economy; the gross and net weight tonnage processed in 2018; the tonnage exported live; and the countries to which they were exported. [44602/19]

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Eamon Ryan

Question:

797. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if there is research funded or used by his Department on mussel seed and bed ecosystem services, especially the role that mussel seed and mussels beds play in supporting fish stocks; and if so, if the research is taken into account in deciding on the opening or closing of a particular seed mussel site. [44603/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 795 to 797, inclusive, together.

Sea-fishing boat licensing is the responsibility of the Licensing Authority for Sea-fishing Boats, which is independent in the exercise of its functions. The details of all currently registered Irish sea-fishing boats are available on the Irish Fishing Boat Register, which is published online: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/seafood/seafisheriesadministration/seafisheriesadministration/seafishingfleetregister/

The monitoring and control of fishing vessels within Ireland’s Exclusive Fisheries Zone are matters for the Irish control authorities. Under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006, all operational issues concerning sea fisheries control are, as a matter of law, exclusively for the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and the Naval Service. As Minister, I am precluded from getting involved in operational matters including those in relation to law enforcement. I will forward your query regarding vessel monitoring to the SFPA for direct response.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) issues regular publications on the economic output and performance for seafood production, including aquaculture. BIM also carries out survey programmes related to mussels and, from time to time, commissions reports on particular aspects of the mussel industry. BIM's publications in this regard can be found online at

http://www.bim.ie/our-publications/.

The Marine Institute generally advises on fisheries interactions with marine ecosystems.

The Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction (Mussel Seed) (Opening of Fisheries) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 464 of 2019), permits mussel seed fishing to take place from 20 September to 22 December 2019. Fishing is restricted to periods that are specified as suitable tides. The statutory instrument also identifies that such fishing is also restricted in a number of areas.