Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 06 February, 2007
Written Answers. - Fisheries Protection.
Mr. J. O’Keeffe Mr. J. O’Keeffe
Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the reason the cockle fishery in Waterford Estuary and Tramore Bay were closed without warning on 6 January 2007 and the scientific evidence that was available prior to the making of the regulations providing for the closure. [3675/07]
Mr. Browne Mr. Browne
Mr. Browne: The Local Advisory Committee, made up of stakeholders and State Agencies, for wild molluscs operating within the framework for managing Ireland’s Inshore Shellfisheries is developing proposals for the management of wild molluscs within Waterford Estuary and Tramore Bay. The Local Advisory Committee requested  the Minister to introduce a moratorium on the taking of cockles until a full assessment of the cockle fishery has been carried out and new management arrangements are put in place. While assessments of part of the area were carried out, the Marine Institute and Bord Iascaigh Mhara have recommended that an assessment of the entire area is required to inform the introduction of management measures and this approach has been endorsed by the Local Advisory Committee.
The moratorium was introduced to prevent over exploitation of cockles in the area until the appropriate management measures, that will deliver a sustainable cockle fishery into the future, are introduced. The closure has been put in place until 31 May 2007 or until such new measures are introduced. The appropriate surveys required are currently being undertaken by Bord Iascaigh Mhara in conjunction with local fishermen. The results of these assessments will inform the management plan being developed in consultation with the Local Advisory Committee.
Dáil Éireann 630 Written Answers. Fisheries Protection.