Mick Wallace So #Biden will start as #Trump left off - continuing to impose 'collective punishment' on the people of #Venezuelahttps://t.co/9gtWc2M5Yw
Mick Wallace #EU wants to talk about Western backed protesters in #HongKong where - unlike #US - police have killed no protester… https://t.co/0NaZRH0LxN
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: Very significant amendment for us to win - by just 2 votes - Tax Havens are largely responsible for helping to enshrine po…
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: #EU - Latin America gig talked about reducing inequality + overcoming #COVID19. During a pandemic one would expect all cou…
To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in view of the fact that there are serious delays in the assessment of suitable sites for oyster farming, his views on whether it would be a good investment on the part of the State to invest more resources in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. - Mick Wallace. For ORAL answer on Thursday, 14th November, 2013. REPLY The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney) The majority of areas for which these oyster licences are sought are designated Special Areas of Conservation and/or Special Protection Areas under the EU Birds Directive (Natura 2000 sites). In 2007 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared in Case C418/04 that by failing to take all measures necessary to comply with Article 6.3 of the EU Habitats Directive in respect of the authorisation of aquaculture programmes, Ireland had failed to fulfil its obligations under that Directive. As most aquaculture activity takes place in ‘Natura 2000’ areas it is necessary to undertake an ‘Appropriate Assessment’ of the effects of aquaculture activity on these areas before any new licences can be issued or any existing licences can be renewed. In the negotiations to address the ECJ judgement a process was agreed with the European Commission. This process includes the following steps: · Data Collection in 91 Bays/Estuaries · Detailed analysis of the raw data collected · Setting of Conservation Objectives by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in respect of each site · Carrying out Appropriate Assessments (AA) – by the Marine Institute - of aquaculture/fishery activities against the detailed Conservation Objectives set, and · Determination of Licences/Fisheries on the basis of the Appropriate Assessment and other relevant factors Conservation Objectives have now been set for a significant number of bays. The appropriate assessments are being carried out by the Marine Institute on behalf of the Department and to date five bays have been assessed - Castlemaine, Dundalk, Roaringwater Lough Swilly and Donegal Bay. It is expected that successful completion of the Appropriate Assessment process will facilitate significant licence determinations. In the region of 40 aquaculture licences have issued this year in respect of Castlemaine. The licensing process in Roaringwater Bay is at an advanced stage with applications at the public and statutory consultation phase. As outlined my Department has been working closely with the Marine Institute, BIM and NPWS to achieve full compliance through a multi-annual work programme. A key factor of this Work Programme is the identification of prioritised bays, based on the number of aquaculture sites, the ready availability of scientific data and other factors. The prioritised list of bays is kept under continuous review by my Department so as to facilitate the use of scientific and other resources on a flexible basis across the full range of bays, if deemed necessary. The appropriate assessment process represents a significant financial, administrative and scientific investment by the State. The issue of resources is kept under continuous review having regard to the importance my Department attached to this issue. Parliamentary Question No. 12 To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the assessment of Waterford Estuary and Bannow Bay as suitable sites for oyster farming; if he is willing to meet with a person (details supplied) to discuss this matter further; and if he will make a statement on the matter. - Mick Wallace. For ORAL answer on Thursday, 14th November, 2013. Tthomas Ffrench The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney) The bays referred to by the Deputy are designated as Special Areas of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive and/or Special Protection Areas under the EU Birds Directive (Natura 2000 sites). All applications in ‘Natura’ areas are required to be appropriately assessed for the purpose of environmental compliance with the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. The assessment process of aquaculture applications is being dealt with on a bay-by-bay basis. This process includes the following: (a) a detailed data collection in 91 Bays / Estuaries (b) detailed analysis of raw data collected (c) setting of Conservation Objectives by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in respect of each site (d) carrying out Appropriate assessments of each licence application / fishery plan against the detailed Conservation Objectives set, and (e) determination of Licences / Fisheries on the basis of the Appropriate Assessment and other relevant factors Conservation Objectives have been set by the NPWS for a significant number of bays, including Waterford Estuary and Bannow Bay. The appropriate assessments are being carried out by the Marine Institute on behalf of the Department and to date five bays have been assessed – Castlemaine, Dundalk, Roaringwater, Lough Swilly and Donegal. As outlined my Department has been working closely with the Marine Institute, BIM and NPWS to achieve full compliance with the Birds and Habitats Directives through a multi-annual work programme. A key feature of this work is the identification of prioritised bays, based on the number of aquaculture sites, the ready availability of scientific data and other factors. The prioritised list of bays is kept under continuous review by my Department so as to facilitate the use of scientific and other resources on a flexible basis across the full range of bays, if deemed necessary. This approach is consistent with the maintenance of a prioritised list which includes Bannow Bay and Waterford Estuary. It is hoped that the appropriate assessments for these bays will be completed during 2014 subject to the ready availability of scientific data and other factors. Addressing the issue of aquaculture licensing in Natura 2000 areas is a key priority for my Department and the Deputy can be assured that every effort is being made to expedite the completion of the overall process having regard to all the complexities involved. My Department’s officials are available to meet with the individual referred to by the Deputy to discuss the matter if this is considered helpful.

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