Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Questions (910)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

910. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a BIM application by a person (details supplied) will be processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4137/20]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am advised by Bord Iascaigh Mhara that it has no outstanding application for funding from the person named. However, BIM advise me that the Deputy may have in mind the possibility of aid under the EMFF Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme for losses incurred by mollusc farmers because of a suspension of harvesting of their product arising from a biotoxin event in 2019.

Naturally occuring phytoplankton blooms sometimes occur on our Atlantic coasts, typically when nutrient levels and temperature rise in late Spring or Autumn. These blooms can produce potent toxins and these are monitored by the Marine Institute to ensure food safety. On occasions, a temporary suspension of the harvesting of molluscs may be ordered which is lifted again when the event passes.

Where a biotoxin event leads to the closure of a particular bay for more than four months, BIM may, at its sole discretion, initiate a targeted call for applications for aid under the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme from licensed mollusc farmers operating in the area concerned. I have no role under the Scheme in determining whether such a call for applications is initiated. To date, BIM has not invited applications for aid from any area affected by a biotoxin event.