Written answers

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Sea Lice Controls

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
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141. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the regulations being put in place to help with the problem of sea lice (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46143/18]

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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The control protocols for the management of sea lice are operated by the Marine Institute on behalf of the State. All stocks of fish are inspected by Marine Institute Inspectors on 14 occasions throughout the year. As part of this control strategy farm operators are required to undertake treatments to control lice infestation levels once certain trigger levels are reached. In certain circumstances treatments alone may not be the most appropriate strategy and in a number of limited circumstances an accelerated harvest may be required.

These protocols are more advanced than those operated in other jurisdictions for the following reasons:

- The inspection regime is totally independent of the industry.

- Data obtained as a result of inspection is published and made widely available.

- Treatment trigger levels are set at a low level.

The sea lice monitoring and control programme in Ireland has been acknowledged by the Environment Directorate (DG Environment) of the EU Commission as representing international best practice.

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