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Written Answers - Aquaculture Licences

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 426.  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  further to Parliamentary Question No. 204 of 7 March 2012, the progress that has been made on the issue of a licence for mussel farming (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24260/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The application referred to is in respect of a site located within Kenmare Bay which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive (Natura 2000 site).

All applications in ‘Natura’ areas are required to be appropriately assessed for the purpose of environmental compliance with the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. My Department, in conjunction with the Marine Institute and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is engaged in a comprehensive programme to gather the necessary baseline data appropriate to the conservation objectives of ‘Natura’ areas. This data collection programme is substantially complete. Analysis of the data, together with the setting of appropriate conservation objectives by the NPWS, will enable all new, renewal and review applications to be appropriately assessed for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. This work represents a significant financial, administrative and scientific investment by the State in resolving this issue. The Appropriate Assessment of aquaculture applications is being dealt with on a bay-by-bay basis.

[469]Addressing the issue of aquaculture licensing in Natura 2000 areas is a key priority for my Department and you can be assured that every effort continues to be made to expedite the determination of this aquaculture licence application having regard to all the complexities involved.


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