Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
790. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government if he will expedite an environmental impact study in Bantry Bay before permitting the mechanical extraction of kelp from Bantry Bay, County Cork, in view of the impact such an extraction will have on the marine environment, the seal population and both the fishing and tourism industries. [32077/17]
The application in question was circulated, in line with usual practice, to various bodies for their views and input. Submissions were received from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Underwater Archaeology Unit of the then Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaelteacht, the Marine Survey Office, the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, the Central Fisheries Board and the Marine Institute.
The Marine Licence Vetting Committee considered all material pertaining to the application and concluded that subject to compliance with specific conditions the proposed harvesting was not likely to have a significant negative impact on the marine environment.
The rotational harvesting plan, ensures that only a portion of the bay is harvested each year. To strengthen the sustainability of the harvesting plan for the licenced area within the bay, the harvesting is also subject to a strict monitoring programme that will provide valuable scientific data, and requires approval of a baseline study prior to commencement of operations. There are no plans at present to require further studies to be carried out.
All details of the application and determination are available on my Department’s website at the following link: .