Written Answers. - Aquaculture Licences.

Phil Hogan

Ceist:

201 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he notified the European Commission of the escape of diseased farmed salmon from the activity of a company (details supplied); the response received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19031/03]

Phil Hogan

Ceist:

202 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources when he will respond to the European Commission's complaint of March 2003 regarding a company (details supplied) and other operations in Clew Bay; if he will make a copy of his reply available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19032/03]

Phil Hogan

Ceist:

203 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the reason he allowed a company (details supplied) to operate for over a year without a valid licence; if national or EU funds were paid to this company during this period; the total level of national or EU funds paid to his company in each year since the award of the aquaculture licence; the projects to which these funds related; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19033/03]

Phil Hogan

Ceist:

204 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he has satisfied himself that all the conditions set down at EU level were complied with before a company (details supplied) was approved for an FIFG grant under the national development plan; if he has satisfied himself that this company has been and is respecting the EU habitats directives; if not, the steps he intends to take to ensure compliance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19034/03]

Phil Hogan

Ceist:

206 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if a company (details supplied) in Mulranny, Westport, County Mayo, prepared an environmental impact statement before it was granted an aquaculture licence; if so, if he has satisfied himself that its terms and conditions have been respected in all material respects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19036/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 to 204, inclusive, and 206 together.

As matters relating to the licensing and operation of the fish farm in question are the subject of legal proceedings taken against the company and the State, it would not be appropriate to comment on issues relevant to those proceedings.
Correspondence has been received from the European Commission on matters relating to Clew Bay, and a reply will be forwarded to the Commission shortly. I am advised that, as the correspondence in question relates to matters which, in due course, may lead to legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate to provide it as the Deputy has requested.
In October 2001 a grant aid proposal from the company in question was submitted for decision under the aquaculture measure of the BMW regional operational programme. The application, involving grant aid amounting to €585,604 in FIFG and Exchequer aid, was approved by the Aquaculture Selection Board. I am satisfied that the project was approved in compliance with the agreed procedures of the grant aid scheme as notified to the European Commission. No claim for payment has been received by the Department and no grant aid has been paid to date in regard to this project.
The following tabular statement sets out the information requested by the Deputy in regard to national and EU payments made to the company in respect of both onshore and aquaculture production projects.

Project

Date of payment

National Aid€

FIFG Aid€

Development of on-shore freezing facilities

24 Mar 20006 Apr 2000

27,670.13Nil

Nil 193,693.46

Total

27,670.13

193,693.46

Expansion of site for sea farmed rainbow trout

30 Dec 199711 Aug 199822 Mar 199926 Mar 1999

10,406.84 7,072.57 13,244.64 Nil

Nil Nil Nil 215,065.70

Total

30,724.05

215,065.70

Feasibility study on development of organic sea trout

7 Jan 199821 Feb 2000

4,733.58 6,494.20

Nil Nil

Total

11,227.78

Nil

Trial on pigmenting trout for Japanese market

21 Jan 1998

31,743.45

Nil

Total

31,743.45

Nil

Pilot development phase of site to assess long-term investment requirements

28 Dec 199511 Nov 1996

4,868.18 1,422.11

Nil 41,770.37

Total

6,290.29

41,770.37

Phil Hogan

Ceist:

205 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the production tonnage limits and smolt intake totals authorised for two farming sites of a company (details supplied) for each of the past three years; if he has satisfied himself that these limits were fully complied with; if changes are planned in the current limits for 2004 in view of the company's licence terms and its recent lice infestation history; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19035/03]

The aquaculture licence for the fish farm in question specifies the following maximum smolt inputs and production levels for each of the last three years.

Maximum SmoltInput

MaximumProduction

2001

484,000

1,200

2002

484,000

1,500

2003

613,000

1,500

The company concerned has assured my Department that the relevant limits have been complied with. The aquaculture licence provides for maximum production of 1,900 tonnes in 2004. Progression to this level of production is subject to compliance with the terms and conditions of the licence, including the requirements in respect of sea lice monitoring and control.
Question No. 206 answered with Question No. 201.