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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 325-334
 Header Item Sea Lice Controls
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Inland Fisheries Issues
 Header Item Nitrates Usage
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Forestry Premium Scheme Payments
 Header Item Coillte Teoranta Harvesting Rights Sale
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Appeals

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 802 No. 1

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Written Answers Nos. 325-334

Sea Lice Controls

 325. Deputy Noel Grealish Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if treatment levels are set at 0.5 lice per salmon in salmon cage installations, regardless of numbers of salmon in cages; in view of the fact that there will be at least 7.2m salmon in the proposed cages in Galway Bay, will the same treatment level take account of this number of fish and that consequently the levels of lice from these salmon breeding and proliferating, will be catastrophic to any wild salmon or sea trout traversing the bay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21110/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has submitted an application to my Department for an Aquaculture and a Foreshore Licence for the cultivation of Finfish near Inis Oirr in Galway Bay. The application and its accompanying Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently being considered in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act and the 1933 Foreshore Act as amended.

The legislation provides for extensive consultation with stakeholders, including Inland Fisheries Ireland, which has responsibility for wild salmon stocks. The legislation also provides for a period of general public consultation. The public consultation stage of the process is now complete and submissions received are under active consideration by my Department.

All matters associated with the application including the impact, if any, on wild fish stocks, will be given very careful consideration by my Department.

It would not be appropriate for me to comment further on this application which is under active consideration as part of a statutory process.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 326. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when the REP scheme payment for 2012 will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21135/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named commenced REPS 4 in February 2009 and received payments for the first three years of their contract.

  REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. These checks for 2012 payments have now been completed and the 75% year 4 payment amounting to €3180.92 issued for payment on 18th April 2013. The remaining 25% balancing payment amounting to €1136.04 issued for payment on 1st May 2013.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Appeals

 327. Deputy Colm Keaveney Information on Colm Keaveney Zoom on Colm Keaveney asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway may expect to receive a response regarding an appeal submitted under the agri-environment options scheme.  [21138/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted an application form for the 2011 Agri-Environment Options Scheme on 16th May 2011 having completed the Form B option, indicating that he had no designated lands.

  Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. During this administrative checking process it was discovered that some parcels contained designated areas.

  My Department subsequently rejected the application as the scheme Terms and Conditions had not been complied with. A letter issued to the person named on 12th March 2012 setting out this decision and providing the person named with an option to submit an appeal. An appeal was received in AEOS Section on 29th March 2012. Following the receipt of this appeal, officials in my Department requested additional information related to the designation of these lands from the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The reply received from the National Parks and Wildlife Service confirmed that the person named had been notified that lands on his holding were designated. Following a review of the file and taking into account the information received, my Department issued a letter to the person named on 26th   October 2012 upholding the original decision to reject the application from the scheme. This letter also gave the person named the option to appeal the decision to the Agricultural Appeals Office. To date, there is no record of an appeal having been received in the Agricultural Appeals Office.

Inland Fisheries Issues

 328. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if his attention has been drawn to the fact that repair works to a fallen bridge on the border of south Tipperary and Waterford is being delayed until August-September by the Inland Fisheries; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this road is closed and will remain closed until August-September unless these works are carried out and that this is causing inconvenience to the road users in the area; if permission will be granted to allow works be carried out in the coming weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [21145/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The subject included in this question is not under the remit of my Department.

Nitrates Usage

 329. Deputy Tom Hayes Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney in view of the current fodder crises, if all farmers will be allowed to use fertiliser with an increased amount of nitrogen and phosphates up to a maximum level of 10% above the levels agreed in the nitrates directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21150/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The rules governing the use of nitrates and phosphates are set out in the European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Waters) Regulations 2010 commonly referred to as the Nitrates Regulations. Responsibility for these Regulations rests with my colleague, Deputy Phil Hogan, Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government.

These Regulations transpose the EU Nitrates Directive into law in Ireland with the objective of the Regulations being the protection of ground and surface waters including drinking water sources, through the application of measures to reduce the risk of nutrient enrichment from Agriculture to water.

The unusually wet weather in 2012 resulted in reduced fodder being available on many farms for last winter. The cold and wet weather in the early part of 2013 led to greatly reduced grass growth this Spring, culminating in an acute shortage of fodder.

Clearly the long-term answer to recent fodder shortages is increased grass production as soon as possible. I have asked the advisory services to prioritise advice to farmers in the period ahead and to focus on the optimum use of fertiliser in generating feed for the national herd.

I understand that sales to date this year of fertiliser are running significantly behind the corresponding levels of recent years. This indicates that, in the short term at least, there is significant scope for farmers to increase fertiliser usage, where appropriate, taking their location, soil fertility and other relevant factors into account, without exceeding the limits set out in the Nitrates Regulations.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 330. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason a disadvantaged area payment has not been made to a person (details supplied) in CountyTipperary; when payment will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21169/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney While the person named submitted details of stock on his holding in 2012, this information does not confirm that the holding satisfies the definition of an Equine Breeding Enterprise for the purposes of the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. Consequently, no payment is due to the person named in respect of the 2012 Scheme.

Forestry Premium Scheme Payments

 331. Deputy Tom Hayes Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when payment under the 2013 forestry premium scheme will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21200/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Forest Service has written to the applicant to clarify an anomaly in the Department’s records regarding the applicant. As soon as clarification is received from the applicant, the Forest Service will review the matter with a view to processing the annual premium payment.

Coillte Teoranta Harvesting Rights Sale

 332. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the way he will ensure that the rural recreation aspect of the work of Coillte will be protected in the event of the forest crop being sold to private interests; his views on whether that this sale will threaten the current open access policy and lead to restrictions on access to this land; and if his plans include provisions which will ensure public access to Coillte land for recreational purposes. [21214/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Further to the Government decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, NewERA, Coillte, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my Department have worked to examine the financial and other implications of developing the potential of Coillte’s forest assets. Substantial work has been undertaken on the identification of the forestry assets involved, the determination of their value and the consideration of a number of issues associated with the proposed sale of the harvesting rights. The future management of the estate, the maintenance of existing amenities and public access to recreational land are some of the issues being considered as part of the analysis.

I am aware that Coillte currently manages 10 Forest Parks and over 150 recreation sites throughout Ireland and that their forests provide a range of recreational opportunities for the general public continuing a long tradition of open access to state owned forests. I am also conscious that such recreational facilities are also very valuable resources as tourism attractions in the various regions. In view of the importance of such recreational opportunities for citizens for ongoing recreation and for visitors during their stay in Ireland, any sale will take account of public access to recreational land. As stated by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in his contribution to the Dáil debate on this issue on 26th February last, it is the Government’s intention that appropriate provisions would be included in any sale of Coillte harvesting rights to allow for the maintenance of the company’s current open forest policy. While the consideration process is at an advanced stage, no decision has been taken, as yet. The outcome of the overall analysis will be considered by the Government upon its completion.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Appeals

 333. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if a decision has been made on an appeal of a penalty on a REP scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21224/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named commenced REPS 4 in June 2008 and received payments for the first four years of their contract.

  REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. These checks have now been completed for 2012 and the 75% year 5 payment amounting to €5,885.58 issued for payment on 10th December 2012. The remaining 25% balancing payment amounting to €1,961.85 issued for payment on 18th December 2012.

  The person named has submitted an appeal in respect of his 2011 REPS payment. Following an on farm inspection the person named was notified in writing on 12th April 2012 of a penalty linked to the erection of a greenhouse in close proximity to an archaeological feature under Measure 7 “Protect features of historical and archaeological interest” of the Terms and Conditions of the rural Environment Protection Scheme. The person named has appealed this decision and the appeal is currently under review. A decision will be made shortly and will issue to the person named.

  Question No. 334 withdrawn.


Last Updated: 29/04/2020 09:19:00 First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page