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Fahey, Frank

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 547 Nbr. 4

Ceisteanna – Questions. - Departmental Bodies.

It is.More Button

Where there is a return on the investment.More Button

Priority Questions. - Drift Netting Ban.

Was asked: his plans to seek a reversal of the EU ban on the use of driftnets for tuna fishing; if he will seek EU approval for the use of nets fitted with pingers; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

The 1998 Council decision to ban drift netting for tuna with effect from 1 January 2002 is now in force. There is no realistic prospect of the Commission proposing a reversal by Council of its deci...More Button

The Council decision was primarily driven by environmental concerns about the potentially fatal impact of multi kilometre drift nets on marine mammals. Ireland and France disputed the conclusive na...More Button

During the negotiations in 1998, Ireland and France successfully achieved a four year postponement of the introduction of the ban on drift netting. Ireland also secured EU support for R& D funding ...More Button

Since 1998, over £2 million has been invested in assisting Irish fishermen to develop alternative tuna fishing methods. A variety of fishing gears and techniques have been the subject of tria...More Button

International negotiations in 2000 led to quotas being set for the first time for Albacore Tuna. Ireland negotiated a significant quota of 3,158 tonnes for 2001, the third highest in the European U...More Button

It is a mistaken view that the banning of drift nets bring to an end the tuna fishery and would have a devastating effect on Irish ports. In actual fact there were only 18 boats involved in the dri...More Button

I do not have the information requested in regard to the number of applications made and the number of fishermen who fished for tuna last year—More Button

—using the mid-water trawls but I will make it available to the Deputy. I shall also provide the date by which applications must be made. The clear indication this year from the amount of int...More Button

On a point of clarification, the Deputy did not ask anything about mid-water trawls. The question was about the use of drift nets and nothing else.More Button

I will get the information for the Deputy.More Button

We will get the information to the Deputy this afternoon. The Deputy did not ask that question. In fact, it was nowhere near it.More Button

We will certainly provide the information this evening.More Button

Priority Questions. - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: the terms under which the EU co-funded the purchase of the two CASA fisheries aircraft; the conditions set down by the Commission regarding fisheries surveillance; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The purchase of the two fisheries protection CASA aircraft was co-funded by the European Community under the Fisheries Surveillance Package 1995-2000. The two aircraft cost approximately £36 ...More Button

In implementing the terms of the fisheries surveillance package the Commission took the general position that where capital assets were overwhelmingly dedicated to fisheries protection the full eli...More Button

The day-to-day operation of the CASA aircraft is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Defence. I have primary policy responsibility for fisheries protection and my relevant requirements rela...More Button

In line with the White Paper on Defence, my Department is currently working to formalise fisheries protection delivery requirements through service level agreements with the Department of Defence, ...More Button

My concern with regard to the use of the CASA aircraft relates solely to fisheries surveillance, which is their primary role. The Department of Defence and, in particular, the Air Corps deal with d...More Button

It has been regularly confirmed to the Commission that the vast proportion of CASA time is spent on fishery protection duties. The fact that the aircraft are primarily tasked with this role does no...More Button

Priority Questions. - Harbours and Piers.

Was asked: if he has received a proposal for harbour development at Clogherhead, County Louth under the fisheries, harbours and facilities provision of the national development plan; and if he will make a sta...More Button

The harbour at Clogherhead is owned by Louth County Council and responsibility for its maintenance and development lies with the local authority. Funding of over €80,000 towards safety works ...More Button

My Department has consistently advised that any major capital investment proposed for Clogherhead should be underpinned by a comprehensive cost benefit analysis which should evaluate all relevant e...More Button

Consideration of any subsequent proposal for the development of the harbour by the local authority will be informed by the findings of the cost benefit analysis. However, under the national develop...More Button

The Deputy's interpretation is wrong. He is well aware that one of the difficulties is that priorities must be set. Some port developments will, therefore, proceed before others. I am not in a posi...More Button

I also accept that fishermen from Clogherhead are forced to use Howth Harbour because of the lack of facilities and that there is an urgent need for work on the pier to take place. However, even if...More Button

I simply do not have the money required to proceed with the development in Clogherhead, much as I would like to.More Button

I do not have the exact figures, but we are committed to developments in Killybegs, Rossaveal, Castletownbere and Dunmore East as well as about ten other smaller projects. I am not certain if that ...More Button

It is important to point out that there is no point building hopes and misleading people.More Button

That is not the case.More Button

It is not my style to carry people along and mislead them, which has been the case for long enough with regard to projects of this nature.More Button

I have been careful not to mislead anybody—More Button

—and I will not allow Deputy Dukes to lead me in that direction now.More Button

Priority Questions. - Common Fisheries Policy.

Was asked: the action he has taken to improve the European Commission's Green Paper on the Common Fisheries Policy and correct the anomalies in the Green Paper on establishing the importance of the fisheries ...More Button

The Commission's Green Paper on the Common Fisheries Policy reflects a number of priority themes for Ireland, including sustainable fisheries development, the conservation imperative and more trans...More Button

Better alignment of the CFP with social, regional and cohesion policies is critical for the future of coastal communities and small-scale inshore fleets. I have pressed the Commission to show real ...More Button

In the light of the Green Paper and in advance of the Commission's formal proposals on CFP reform, I have worked with like-minded EU colleagues to develop common positions on certain key priorities...More Button

There was a strong view among the Ministers involved that a common position should be articulated in order to counterbalance the tendency for biological concerns to predominate in the thinking of t...More Button

The Commission will present its formal proposals on CFP reform shortly. Substantive negotiations will begin under the current Spanish Presidency and will culminate under the Danish Presidency at th...More Button

The key objectives for Ireland in the negotiation process are to influence and shape the direction of much needed reform while maximising the national position in terms of our key priorities. I wil...More Button

It is generally acknowledged in Brussels and among our colleague member states that Ireland's case was probably the most effective one made as part of the Green Paper and the CFP review. As a resul...More Button

We have fought very hard so far in this battle. Part of that battle was fought as part of the December negotiations. From my point of view, it was the most difficult fight I have ever had in my tim...More Button

It does not have to be in the Green Paper which was a discussion document. It is in the proposals we made to the Commission and it was one of the main arguments we made to the Commission, that is, ...More Button

Anytime the west Cork man wants to come with me, a Cheann Comhairle, I would be delighted to have him participate in the fight.More Button

Priority Questions. - Salmon Stocks.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the level of protection of salmon stocks on rivers; his views on whether pollution levels are too high on many lakes and rivers; his plans to step up protection mea...More Button

The regional fisheries boards are statutorily responsible for the protection of fisheries and the enforcement of the Fisheries Acts. The Central Fisheries Board has an overall co-ordinating role to...More Button

The Environmental Protection Agency has recently published its report on Water Quality in Ireland 1998 to 2000. In the case of rivers, the report shows a reversal in the trends of slight and modera...More Button

I am encouraged to note the improvements reported by the EPA. However, pollution remains the most serious threat to fish stocks. Under the national development plan more than €3 billion has be...More Button

The success of our pollution prevention strategies critically depends on all relevant Departments, agencies, farming, angling and other groups working effectively together. The environmental catchm...More Button

The anglers had the worst record in terms of using the tags provided this year and the commercial net men were the best. I have urged the anglers to co-operate fully this year with the tagging sche...More Button

I have initiated a new scheme with a number of angling clubs so that they will provide better surveillance and intelligence both to the fisheries officers in the fisheries boards and the garda&iacu...More Button

On the pollution problem, a tripartite approach is now being taken by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Deputy Walsh, the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, ...More Button

Other Questions. - Coastal Zone Management.

Was asked: the position regarding the establishment of the long promised coastal zone management; when he expects to appoint a senior civil servant from his Department to take charge of this area; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: the work being done by and the job description of the official or officials in his Department appointed to deal with coastal zone management; the way in which he will address the criticism of the C...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 30 and 70 together.More Button

My Department has general responsibility for the regulation and management of the marine coastal zone including foreshore and aquaculture licensing and dumping at sea permits. These functions are c...More Button

My Department also has general responsibility, in conjunction with other relevant Departments, for the development of an integrated coastal zone management strategy. The key objective of the strate...More Button

The strategy will be informed by national and international research and experience to date. It will also take account of the EU recommendation on the implementation of ICZM agreed by the Council o...More Button

Following recent appointments at assistant secretary level in my Department, the assignment of senior management responsibility for integrated coastal zone management strategy will be finalised sh...More Button

The regulation and management of the coastal zone is a matter for the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources. A key organisational priority is the devolution of the public resource-coastal ...More Button

The Department of the Marine and Natural Resources has responsibility for the foreshore up to the high water mark. The private landowner, or the local authority in the case of public property or ro...More Button

It is, yes. The private landowner is responsible for his own land and the policy of the Department and the local authorities is that the county council will not get involved in coastal protection w...More Button

That is not necessary. Every local authority knows that private property cannot be the subject of public expenditure for coastal erosion.More Button

Other Questions. - Marine Rescue Service.

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of a full helicopter air-sea rescue service, with night time capacity, in the south east; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of occasions during 2001 on which the coastguard helicopter was called on non-marine rescue operations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At present the coastguard operates two marine emergency response helicopters, based at Shannon and Dublin Airports. The helicopters used by the coastguard are medium load carrying helicopters which...More Button

In 2001, coastguard helicopters were called out to 235 incidents, of which 46 were classified as non-marine rescue incidents.More Button

The 46 non-marine rescue incidents were comprised of 16 mountain rescue incidents, 16 pollution and salvage incidents and 14 incidents involving the helicopter emergency medical service.More Button

The approval of the matron of the relevant hospital, or a senior consultant from that hospital, is needed when patients are transferred from one hospital to another. This happens only when it is de...More Button

The helicopters based at Shannon and Dublin are leased by a private sector company, but the helicopter at Finner is an Alouette which is owned and operated by the Air Corps. The Air Corps provides ...More Button

Other Questions. - Coastal Erosion.

Was asked: if he has received a report dealing with coastal erosion in the Youghal area of County Cork; if so, the actions he plans to take as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Three evaluations by consultant engineers have been undertaken on behalf of Cork County Council since 1999 to assess the extent of coastal erosion at Youghal and to identify the most appropriate an...More Button

I allocated £20,000, €25,394.76, in 2001 to Youghal Urban District Council. I am advised that consultants have prepared the necessary tender documentation on behalf of the local authorit...More Button

I have not seen a figure of the magnitude suggested by the Deputy. Did he mention £5 million?More Button

My figures suggest an estimated cost of about €1.2 million for the strengthening of the sea wall, incorporating an aesthetically designed retired flood wall. The subsequent groynes which are p...More Button

I do not know what the urgency is all about because this is the first time I have heard from the Deputy regarding this matter.More Button

As far as I am concerned the matter is with the local authority. I provided the money in 2001 and I am waiting for the various planning and tendering procedures to proceed.More Button

This is the first time the Deputy has raised this matter during Question Time which is where his colleagues normally raise urgent matters.More Button

I do not wish to mislead the House.More Button

I am happy to clarify that this is the first occasion during Question Time on which Deputy Stanton raised this issue.More Button

If Deputy Stanton raised the matter by way of a written question, I was not aware of that.More Button

If Deputy Dukes is so pernickety I will not—More Button

The total amount provided for coastal erosion under the national development plan by the Minister for Finance is €44 million. I am not sure of the amount spent last year, but the provision for...More Button

I wish to clarify that it was not my intention to mislead the House. I was not thinking in terms of a written question which might have been tabled some time ago. I was referring to the fact that t...More Button

Written Answers. - Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Was asked: the reasons the budget of Bord Iascaigh Mhara has been reduced by 34%; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that since the publication of the Abridged Book of Estimates, the Government provided an additional €7 million to BIM for 2002 in the December budget.More Button

In the overall difficult fiscal climate, BIM has been allocated a total of just over €28 million to underpin strategic development of the seafood Industry in 2002. This compares with an alloca...More Button

The 2002 provision will enable BIM to continue to take forward targeted development programmes for the seafood industry including NDP measures for fleet renewal, fisheries innovation, aquaculture, ...More Button

Written Answers. - Water Pollution.

Was asked: if he has set up a meeting between his Department, the Department of the Environment and Local Government, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and the Department of Arts, Heri...More Button

Was asked: if he proposes meeting with local interest groups (details supplied) to consider the best manner in which to tackle the pollution problems in the Carra-Mask catchment area; and if he will make a st...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 35 and 37 together.More Button

I can confirm that I have invited my ministerial colleagues in question, together with senior departmental officials, to a meeting to review water pollution strategies for fisheries catchments. The...More Button

To inform this initiative I have also requested the Western Regional Fisheries Board to convene a meeting of all relevant parties to discuss and advise on particular concerns relating to Carra-Mask...More Button

Written Answers. - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: the total area of lands under forestry; his proposals for ongoing afforestations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As of 31 December 2000 the total area of lands under forest stood at 650,000 hectares, representing 9.4% of the national land area. The productive forest area amounts to 545,000 hectares and the ba...More Button

Broadleaves account for 21% of the forest estate. Of the total area, Coillte owns almost 400,000 hectares or 61%, with approx 250,000 hectares or 39% owned by farmers and others. Forest cover by co...More Button

With regard to afforestation it is estimated that 15,000 hectares approximately have been grant aided in 2001. The planting targets set out in the 1996 strategic plan for forestry, Growing for the ...More Button

There have been a number of significant recent developments, which will help to bring planting in line with targets. Firstly the role of forestry as one of the motors of rural development has been ...More Button

Secondly, average increases of approx 30% in both afforestation grant and premium levels have been introduced in the past two years. Initially, these increases only applied to planting which took p...More Button

There have been other developments which are also relevant. The rural development plan provides for the integration of forestry and REPs. This will offer significant opportunities for forestry in t...More Button

Given the combination of these factors, I am confident that planting levels will increase to target levels on an incremental basis over the coming years.More Button

Question No. 37 answered with Question No. 35.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which forestry policy here is dedicated to combating global warming as envisaged in the Kyoto discussions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of trees of a species most likely to combat global warming which were planted here in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has directed Irish forestry policy specifically towards achieving targets set at Kyoto; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 to 90, inclusive, together.More Button

The national climate change strategy identifies the key role to be played by forestry in terms of meeting Ireland's commitments under the Kyoto protocol. The NCCS calls for the intensification of t...More Button

A close working relationship exists between my Department and the Department of the Environment and Local Government in the context of forestry's role in the national climate change strategy. My De...More Button

The Government's forestry policy as set out in Growing for the Future – A Strategic Plan for the Development of the Forestry Sector in Ireland was prepared prior to the Kyoto protocol. One of...More Button

Conifers are particularly well suited in this regard. These species play a significant role as a carbon sequestrator. It is estimated that on average one hectare of Sitka spruce absorbs 3.3 tonnes ...More Button

While final afforestation figures for 2001 are not yet available, it is estimated that 15,000 hectares approximately were grant aided that year. The total area of afforestation grant aided in 2000 ...More Button

Was asked: the ten most commonly planted trees here by species in the past five years in the private forestry sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the ten most commonly planted trees by species here in the past five years in the public forestry sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 91 and 92 together.More Button

The ten most popular species grant aided by the forest service over the last five years are Sitka spruce, Norway spruce, Japanese larch, lodgepole pine, Scots pine, Douglas fir, common alder, oak,...More Button

Written Answers. - Marine Accidents.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the report prepared by the marine accident investigation department of the UK environmental department into the loss of the Arosa off the Connemara coast in Octob...More Button

The British registered fishing vessel Arosa sank off the Galway coast on 3 October 2000, with the loss of 12 lives. There was only one survivor. Under international maritime law, it is the r...More Button

Was asked: when he expects to receive the report of the investigation into the recent collision in Dublin Bay between a cargo vessel and a yacht in which three people died; if changes are planned to safety pr...More Button

As I advised the House previously, most recently on 21 November, this tragic accident is currently being investigated by my Department under the Merchant Shipping Acts. The investigation cannot be ...More Button

Was asked: when the planned independent marine casualty investigation board, as provided for in the Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Act, 2000, will be established; and if he will make a...More Button

The primary purpose of the Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Act, 2000, is to provide for a new legislative and procedural regime to regulate the entire area of marine casualty...More Button

Question No. 58 answered with Question No. 53.More Button

Written Answers. - Fishing Vessels.

Was asked: if he responded to the infringement proceedings initiated by the EU Commission against Ireland in regard to a super-trawler (details supplied) by the stipulated deadline of 24 December 2001; the ma...More Button

I can confirm that a response to the formal notice of infringement proceedings by the Commission was forwarded before the deadline of 24 December 2001. The response set out the background to the st...More Button

The Commission has recently adopted the decision crediting the Irish pelagic segment with additional fleet capacity and effort to take account of additional fishing opportunities in Mauritanian wat...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the serious concern expressed by trade union officials regarding the treatment of crews on vessels operating under flags of convenience; if he has received repres...More Button

I am aware of the International Transport Workers' Federation's concerns about the treatment of crews on vessels operating under flags of convenience. All merchant vessels of any significant size m...More Button

I am advised that the practice of using flags of convenience, involving what is perceived as lenient regulatory requirements, is still permissible under international law. As Minister for the Marin...More Button

Foreign registered vessels using Irish ports are inspected regularly by the Marine Survey Office of my Department in the exercise of Ireland's port state control obligations. These inspections are ...More Button

My Department is currently actively addressing the strategic and operational aspects of delivery of its maritime safety regulatory services, including port state control. A detailed review of the s...More Button

Ireland participates in IMO and ILO discussions on seafarers' welfare, supporting proposals aimed at improving their terms and conditions of employment. Maritime safety standards will be further au...More Button

Ireland will continue to support all efforts to enhance working conditions for seafarers on board flag of convenience and indeed all vessels and will continue to enforce safety and operational stan...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Fishing Industry.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the outcome of the pre-Christmas Fisheries Council.More Button

The outcome of the Fisheries Council in December was generally satisfactory from an Irish viewpoint. The negotiations were unusually difficult and prolonged. Close liaison was maintained with the r...More Button

The Commission had proposed large-scale reductions in total allowable catches for a number of stocks. The scale of the reductions in many cases were not justified on scientific grounds. Where the s...More Button

Ministers also agreed to extend for six months the current EU fleet programme which will enable investment in the fleet to continue pending new Commission proposals. The Commission also proposed qu...More Button

The most difficult and prolonged part of the negotiations was the successful defence of Ireland's Hague Preference entitlement as an intrinsic part of relative stability. This was achieved in the f...More Button

Written Answers. - Foreshore Development.

Was asked: his plans for the further development of the Tom Roe's Point deep sea facility, Drogheda, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware I announced an allocation of some €1.664 million under the infrastructure measure of the BMW Regional Operational Programme of the National Development Plan, 2000-20...More Button

I am advised by Drogheda Port Company, which is statutorily responsible under the Harbours Acts, 1996-2000, for the management, control, operation and development of the port facilities, that it is...More Button

Was asked: the details of the settlement in relation to the land area at Tom Roe's Point Deep Sea Dock; if his Department settled the matter without consultations with individual companies and the Drogheda Po...More Button

The High Court action that the Deputy is referring to was initiated by the owners of the Waddington Estate which lies northeast of the Tom Roe's Point development.More Button

Following advice from and with the agreement of both the Attorney General's Office and the Chief State Solicitor's Office, my Department reached a settlement with the Waddington Estate. The decisio...More Button

The settlement, while recognising the property rights of the estate owners, protected the current development and allowed Drogheda Port Company to proceed with their plans to develop an area to the...More Button

I can assure the Deputy that prior to and during the settlement talks there was contact between the legal teams of all the defendants, namely the State, Drogheda Port Company and Patrick Monaghan (...More Button

Written Answers. - Alternative Energy Project.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the lease granted for an offshore windfarm on the Arklow bank; when it is expected to come on stream; and if he has satisfied himself that all reasonable precautions ...More Button

The foreshore lease which I signed on 11 January last entitles the developer to site a maximum of 200 turbines with a total nominal rating of 520 megawatts, MW, on the Arklow bank and to connect th...More Button

The lease is, however, subject to the developer having in place, before work commences, the necessary authorisation to construct and licence to generate from the Commission for Electricity Regulati...More Button

The first phase is for 60 MW which will be less than 20 turbines. The Arklow bank is a quite desolate place with little or no support for plant or fish life in the conditions which exist there. The...More Button

There is little information about birdlife around the Arklow bank, which is not a feeding area. Each bird species reacts differently to intrusion of any kind and this aspect is being and will be c...More Button

The proposed development was not the subject of any objections during the public consultation process and has been welcomed by a wide selection of local groups and representative organisations.More Button

Should Deputies wish to examine a copy of the lease it can be downloaded from my Department's web site.More Button

Written Answers. - Marine Institute.

Was asked: the progress being made by the sub-committee overseeing the relocation of the Marine Institute to Galway; the discussions there have been with staff or union representatives; the estimated cost of ...More Button

The departmental council sub-committee is continuing its very positive work to progress the relocation of the Marine Institute. The sub-committee comprises staff, unions, and management. The proces...More Button

The Marine Institute has established interim headquarters in Galway and the board had its first meeting there in January 2002. Staff has begun the process of moving to Galway and the Marine Institu...More Button

Written Answers. - Transport Logistics.

Was asked: if he has received final reports from the task force on transport logistics in regard to reducing container traffic from Dublin Port through the Dublin city centre, which he informed Dáil &E...More Button

I can confirm that the task force on transport logistics in connection with ports has completed its deliberations and will formally present its report to me very shortly.More Button

I understand the report will address, inter alia, issues which would impact on container traffic from Dublin Port, including the potential to transfer non-essential activities, such as fuel ...More Button

I can also confirm that it is my intention to publish the report.More Button

Written Answers. - Future of Tara Mines.

Was asked: the most recent discussions he has had with the owners of Tara Mines regarding their plans for the future of the mine and the ore base; if he has received a date for a proposed reopening of the min...More Button

I last met members of Tara Mines management team on 8 January 2002. They reported that the company was completing a comprehensive review of zinc market conditions and future plans relating to the m...More Button

Following my meeting with them, the company completed its review and issued a press release on 24 January. The review highlights a significant need to improve the mine's technical condition includi...More Button

Written Answers. - Continental Shelf.

Was asked: the steps the Government has taken to advance the objective of seeking an extension of the continental shelf; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 1996, Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which includes definition of the continental shelf, and had ten years from that date, that is, until 2006, to lodge a ...More Button

A large amount of scientific and technical data has to be collected to support this submission. Interpretation of new data is complete and existing infill seismic data has been gathered and collate...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: his plans in relation to the EU Commission decision to block funding which could result in Coillte Teoranta losing EU grants of ?41.9 million over the next 12 years.More Button

I presume the Deputy is referring to the European Commission's decision to disallow forestry premium payments to Coillte Teoranta. A challenge to the decision has been lodged by Ireland with the Eu...More Button

As I have previously informed the House, I am advised that it can take as much as two years from the commencement of proceedings before a judgment is obtained. The proceedings in relation to Coillt...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in the payment of a top-up forestry grant to a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Because of a technical difficulty, the top-up premium was not paid to the person in question. I am arranging for payment to be made within the next two weeks.More Button

Was asked: the progress of the study at the Bull Island, County Dublin, which his Department assisted with grant-aid in sea bed levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

During the period from 2000 to 2001, I provided grant aid of £83,343.00, €105,823.78, to Dublin City Council towards the total cost of £111,124.00, €141,098.37, for the Bull I...More Button

Question No. 85 answered with Question No. 83.More Button

Written Answers. - Aquaculture Development.

Was asked: if he will accede to the request of the Save the Swilly group to commission an independent comprehensive baseline study of the situation in Lough Swilly and a comprehensive environmental impact ass...More Button

The public campaign launched by the Save the Swilly Group in opposition to the further development of aquaculture in the lough has raised a number of issues relating to the approach which has been ...More Button

The reality is otherwise. The surface area of Lough Swilly is 15,400 hectares and the total water of Lough Swilly which, on average, exceeds two billion tonnes is changed every two days or so by ti...More Button

This means that over 91% of the area of the lough remains entirely free of aquaculture of any sort and for the forseeable future the great bulk of it will stay that way. The few remaining licence a...More Button

Carefully focused research can, of course, yield valuable information with regard to the interactions between aquaculture and the environment. In recognition of this it is already a mandatory requi...More Button

It should also be noted that under the legislation governing the licensing of aquaculture, all licence applications are subject to public consultation. In addition to canvassing the views of the pu...More Button

The broad range of responsibilities and expertise which the statutory consultees bring to this process, ensures that all aspects of proposals to engage in aquaculture are given due consideration an...More Button

Beyond the safeguards built into the licensing process, the aquaculture licences appeals board provides a fully independent review of licensing decisions and any party who is still unsatisfied is f...More Button

In all the circumstances, it would be is difficult to justify State funding of a costly and lengthy study of the kind sought by the Save the Swilly Group.More Button

Written Answers. - Land Reclamation.

Was asked: the status of the Dublin Port Company application for reclamation of 52 acres of Dublin Bay; the total number of letters of objection his Department has received regarding this application; and if ...More Button

The position remains as stated in my reply to the Deputy's parliamentary Question No. 76 on 21 November last. Over 4,000 letters of objection, the vast majority of which were pro-forma letters, as ...More Button

In the event that Dublin Port Company submits a new EIS meeting statutory requirements, there would have to be a new public consultation process, the outcome of which would have to be thoroughly as...More Button

Was asked: if he has sought the views of Dúchas with regard to a company's (details supplied) proposal for reclamation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the applications by a company (details supplied) under the Foreshore Act, 1988, which have been refused; the basis of such refusals; the public consultation process which has taken place on the mos...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 and 85 together.More Button

Given the large number of applications under the Foreshore Acts on hands in respect of major infrastructural projects and the limited staff resources available to deal with them, I could not justif...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the environmental impact statement, EIS, submitted by the company with its last application for permission to reclaim 21 hectares of its own foreshore in Dublin Port was rej...More Button

Notwithstanding the fact that the application and EIS were the subject of statutory public consultation for the statutory period of one month, which ended on 1 November 1999, no further considerati...More Button

It is a matter for the company to decide whether or not to proceed with its application. Until such time as the company in question submits a new environmental impact statement giving, inter ali...More Button

Written Answers. - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that those involved in tuna fishing in the south west will suffer severe economic hardship as a result of the ban on drift net fishing which came into fo...More Button

Some £2 million has been invested by BIM with EU support, on the tuna gear conversion programme since 1998. There has been an active involvement of south-western fishermen in the programme an...More Button

Ireland has a substantial tuna quota and I am confident that the fishing industry, through the development and utilisation of new fishing techniques, can position itself to maximise the economic re...More Button

We have also secured EU agreement to double the number of vessels in the tuna fishery. This arrangement, and taking into account our significant quota share, will enable a significant number of ve...More Button

Written Answers. - Fish Stocks.

Was asked: his plans regarding the steps he will take to preserve the wild salmon species around the coastline.More Button

Was asked: the way in which his proposals to provide for fishing limits on drift-netting will be applied; the way in which the proposed regional aspects of the proposals will be implemented; and if he will ma...More Button

Was asked: his proposals to deal with the set aside or buy out in relation to save salmon and wild trout; the details in relation to his proposals on drift net fishing; the quotas he is proposing where they w...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 58 and 72 together.More Button

I am committed to a sustainable commercial salmon fishery based on quality and value rather than volume. I have also made clear my commitment to investing in the ongoing development of salmon angli...More Button

It is clear from the scientific advice from the Marine Institute, based on latest stock assessment data, that reductions in overall fishing effort are required in order to sustain and rebuild salmo...More Button

Informed by the scientific advice, and with the assistance and input of the National Salmon Commission and the fisheries boards, I recently announced a number of management measures in relation to ...More Button

I have requested the National Salmon Commission to respond to me very quickly on the overall shape of the commercial fishing quota scheme and I have also mandated the chief executives of the fisher...More Button

The introduction of quotas for the taking of salmon by commercial fishing engines will not be accompanied by compensation. It is clear to me that a buy-out of fishing licences is most attractive to...More Button

I wish to see a reduction in fishing effort by both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors. The angling conservation measures already introduced for 2002 include a bag limit of one salmon ...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding fish stocks, with particular reference to depletion due to overfishing; the areas and species most affected; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Marine Institute and the international scientific bodies carry out annual assessments of the current status of EU fish stocks. On the basis of the most recent advice, there is a serious concern...More Button

The European Commission, with the support of Ireland, has put in place emergency stock recovery plans for Irish Sea cod, northern hake and cod on the north-west coast. The Commission has recently p...More Button

I am arranging to transmit to the Deputy the most recent stock assessment book, published by the Marine Institute, which outlines the current status of the fish stocks of interest to Ireland.More Button

Written Answers. - Fishing Vessel Licences.

Was asked: if, in regard to his announcement of 27 December 2001, when it is intended to extend the new licensing scheme to all remaining small inshore fishing boats; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

I can confirm that the licensing and registration scheme for small inshore fishing ves sels which I announced on 27 December and launched last week is open to all inshore fishermen around the coast...More Button

Written Answers. - Navigation Systems.

Was asked: the progress which has been made with regard to drawing up of Government policy on radio navigational aids; when the promised consultation document will be published; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

As I have previously informed the House, there was an unexpected change of policy by Norway and Germany at a meeting last May of the International Steering Committee which manages the Loran-C radio...More Button

In this regard my Department, together with the Commissioners of Irish Lights, are in the process of drawing up a document setting out an assessment of the state of radio-based aids to navigation a...More Button

Written Answers. - Fish Quotas.

Was asked: the efforts he is making to ensure that the whiting quota in the Celtic Sea will be retained at the present level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The national whiting quota in the Celtic Sea for 2002 is 8,814 tonnes. This represents a 51% increase over 2001 and will deliver enhanced fishing possibilities for Irish fishermen this year.More Button

A specific management regime for the fishery was introduced in January in order to minimise the potential for market over-supply of whiting in the spring months when the fishery is most active and ...More Button

Written Answers. - Marine Rescue Service.

Was asked: the progress made to date in implementing recommendations, for which his Department has responsibility, of the Final Report of the Air Accident Investigation Unit into the crash of the Dauphin Heli...More Button

As the Deputy is aware a thorough examination of the final report of the air accident investigation unit of the Department of Public Enterprise into accident DH 248/Rescue 111 Tramore, 2 July 1999 ...More Button

Written Answers. - National Development Plan.

Was asked: the progress made to date regarding implementation of the elements of the National Development Plan relating to marine and natural resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Investment of almost €1.7 billion has been provided for under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 in respect of the marine and natural resources sectors.More Button

Actual investment in 2000 and 2001 under these NDP areas amounted to almost €305 million. This level of expenditure represents 66% of targeted investment over that period. It reflects signific...More Button

In the NDP some €916 million has been provided for forestry of which €688 million is co-funded under the CAP Rural Development Fund. A further €228 million has been provided under th...More Button

These include the €127 million fleet modernisation and renewal programme, the €87 million programme of investment in the development of seafood processing enterprises, the €27 millio...More Button

Further investment to date of some €69 million under the NDP has been made in marine RTDI, commercial ports and coast protection programmes.More Button

The EU recently granted State aid approval in respect of tourism measures under the NDP and I launched the NDP scheme for marine based tourism and leisure scheme earlier this week. I expect to laun...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in putting in place the processing sub-measures for the fishing industry under the National Development Plan, 2000-2006; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that in...More Button

Under the national development plan, €38 million has been allocated to fund sig nificant re-development of the Irish seafood processing sector. This grant aid will support total investment of ...More Button

My priority objective has been to ensure that the unprecedented level of investment support under the NDP delivers in full on the objectives of quality, innovation, scale, competitiveness and value...More Button

I plan to launch the programme later this month which will enable investment plans already in the pipeline to be framed, applied for and assessed under the published parameters of the scheme.More Button

Written Answers. - Marina Facilities.

Was asked: if he has given further consideration to the proposed developments at Youghal and Ballycotton, County Cork, to include marina facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Earlier this week, I formally launched the marine tourism sub-measure which will be implemented by my Department as part of the two regional operational programmes of the National Development Plan ...More Button

Written Answers. - Marine Safety.

Was asked: the steps which are being taken to monitor compliance with the recently announced regulations relating to the compulsory wearing of personal floatation devices and mandatory basic safety training f...More Button

On 14 December 2001, I signed two statutory instruments, S.I. No. 586 of 2001, Fishing Vessel (Personal Flotation Devices) Regulations, 2001 and S.I. No. 587 of 2001, Fishing Vessel (Basic Safety T...More Button

The Fishing Vessel (Personal Flotation Devices) Regulations require all crew members of a fishing boat to wear a personal flotation device, PFD, at all times when on deck of any fishing vessel, or ...More Button

The Fishing Vessel (Basic Safety Training) Regulations will require new crew members of a fishing vessel to undertake basic safety training before going to sea for the first time, and all serving c...More Button

Primary responsibility for the safety of the crew of a fishing vessel lies with the owner of that vessel. Both Statutory Instruments were made under the merchant Shipping Act, 1992. Under section 1...More Button

I believe that my Department working in consultation and partnership with the fishing industry will secure the co-operation of the fishing vessel owners, skipper and crews to comply with the new re...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which adequate safety at sea regulations are enforced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of breaches of safety at sea regulations reported in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 98 and 99 together.More Button

Under Irish and international law, all vessels trading into and out of Irish ports are required to carry the appropriate certification to demonstrate compliance with the requisite conventions and r...More Button

All Irish registered passenger and cargo vessels are inspected at least annually by my Department's surveyors and, in accordance with the port state control system, are liable to inspections every ...More Button

Last year my Department's surveyors inspected 281 non-Irish registered vessels that had not been inspected in the previous six months under port State control. Of these, 17 were detained for non-co...More Button

Written Answers. - Port Development.

Was asked: if consultants have been appointed to undertake the high level review of the adequacy and appropriateness of the current model for the governance of the ports sector; when he expects the review to ...More Button

My Department invited appropriately qualified consultants to tender for the conduct of a high level review of the State commercial ports operating under the Harbours Act, 1996 – 2000, late la...More Button

Written Answers. - Foreshore Licences.

Was asked: the average processing time for applications to his Department for permission to reclaim under section 10 of the Foreshore Act, 1933; the application which was the longest in process; and if he wil...More Button

There is no statutory time limit for the processing of applications under the Foreshore Act, 1933. The amount of time taken in any case will depend on the nature and extent of works, the quality of...More Button

Written Answers. - Offshore Exploration.

Was asked: when he expects to receive a plan of development in respect of the petroleum leases issued by him in respect of the Corrib Field on 15 November 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A plan of development accompanied by an environmental impact statement was submitted to me by the developers for my approval in November last and is currently under consideration in my Department. ...More Button

Was asked: the number of recent substantial or commercial discoveries of oil, gas or ores; the future intention to exploit the commercial viability of such projects; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which energy exploration indicate a potential to meet oil or gas requirements in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if new oil or gas explorations are planned on land or offshore in the foreseeable future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if other noticeable finds have been recorded in the course of ongoing oil, gas or other exploration; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if there have been discoveries of gold, silver or precious ores in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 93 to 97, inclusive, together.More Button

I would refer the Deputy to my replies to Questions 58, 60 and 65 on this subject on Thursday 11 October 2001, ref no. 23588/01, 23590/01 and 23595/01, and to Question 29311/01 on Wednesday, 21 Nov...More Button

With regard to non-petroleum minerals no new substantial finds have been reported to me in the intervening period. The acid test of commerciality is that having made a find, the explorer is then pr...More Button

As stated in my replies to similar questions relating to offshore exploration and development raised by the Deputy over the last year, the only positive developments have been in relation to the Co...More Button

Enterprise Energy Ireland have plans to bring the gas ashore by October 2003 and expect the field to be in production for about 15 years. This is the first large scale commercial gas discovery in I...More Button

The number of offshore exploration licences has fallen to eight compared to a peak of 32 in 1997. Nine of the 11 frontier exploration licences issued under the Rockall trough licensing round in 199...More Button

The question of Ireland's energy requirements in the future is a matter for my colleague, Deputy O'Rourke the Minister for Public Enterprise. However, as a mentioned in a previous reply, Ireland cu...More Button

Written Answers. - Harbours and Piers.

Was asked: the maximum amount of grant aid he will allocate to Bantry Harbour Board in 2002 to enable the harbour board to proceed with the new pier as soon as possible.More Button

Some €40.1 million is available under the infrastructure measure of the Southern and Eastern Regional Operational Programme of the national development plan for investment in seaports infrastr...More Button

A total of 38 applications are under consideration, seeking grant allocations up to €78 million, including an application from Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners for assistance towards the const...More Button

These projects have been thoroughly evaluated against the criteria specified in the NDP and final decisions are under consideration.More Button

Question No. 70 answered with Question No. 30.More Button

Was asked: the provisions he has made for the repairs and renovations recommended by Kerry County Council to Renard Pier; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Renard Pier is owned by Kerry County Council and responsibility for its maintenance and repair rests with the local authority in the first instance. The local authority has forwarded a proposal for...More Button

Written Answers. - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: if he will withdraw eviction notices and assure security of tenure in fishing rights to angling interests on State properties on the Laune and Flesk rivers in Counties Donegal and Mayo; and if he w...More Button

Under the Fisheries Acts the regional fisheries boards have the statutory function of ensuring that any fishery in their possession or which is placed under their care and management by the Central...More Button

Question No. 72 answered with Question No. 53.More Button

Written Answers. - Coastal Erosion.

Was asked: his plans to sanction funds to resolve the coastal erosion problem in County Mayo.More Button

In October 2001 my Department wrote to all coastal local authorities and requested prioritised proposals for consideration under the 2002 coast protection programme. Mayo County Council has submitt...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: if his Department operates term time; the number of persons who applied for this in 2000, 2001 and 2002; the number of persons who were accepted and availed themselves of the scheme; if persons wer...More Button

In 2001, the first year of operation of the term time scheme in my Department, three officers applied for and were granted special term time leave. This year, 13 applications for term time have bee...More Button

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: if retired employees of the Commissioners of Irish Lights are provided with pension parity in line with wage increases; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In February 1995, after discussions between my Department, the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions in the UK and the Commissioners of Irish Lights, it was agreed that wage inc...More Button

It was also decided that retired senior staff would be entitled to pension increases in line with salary increases awarded to principal officers in the Irish Civil Service. Wage increases for the g...More Button