Thursday, 9 April 1987
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Daly: My Department, An Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Údarás na Gaeltachta are actively promoting the development of aquaculture in accordance with a multiannual guidance programme submitted to the EC by my Department. I will have a copy of this programme sent to the Deputy.
With a view to stimulating this development, priority is being given to the issue of aquaculture licences in the 14 areas which have been designated to date. In addition, a list of areas where designation procedures will commence during 1987 is currently being prepared.
Mr. Cullen: I welcome the news that the Minister intends to establish a marine research and technology institute. In view of the potential of the industry I should like to know if the Minister agrees that its growth will largely depend on research and development. Will the Minister ensure that there will be adequate resources to carry out research and development so that the industry can achieve its full potential?
Mr. Daly: I agree with the Deputy's views. In recognition of the absence of an adequate research and development programme we decided to establish a marine research and technology institute.  I appreciate the importance of the industry but we must develop it in a way that will be of benefit to the community. This area has suffered from the fragmentation of research up to now. I hope the institute we propose to establish will bring together the various agencies, organisations, the universities and others involved in the development of aquaculture and marine research under the umbrella of one research institute. We are preparing plans for that institute.
Mr. Daly: I propose to appoint an interim board or institute to carry on until the necessary legislation is put through the Oireachtas. It may be possible to do that pretty quickly. I hope that under that interim arrangement it will be possible to bring together the various strands of activity in the area of research which are at present fragmented and working towards different objectives. Such an interim board will operate pending the enactment of legislation that will put a firm statutory body in place.
Mr. Daly: The Deputy will be aware that it has been the practice to hold public inquiries in the different areas before designation orders are made. At those public inquiries traditional fishermen, those with anchorage, berthage and other rights, are given an opportunity to present their case. I am satisfied that  adequate opportunity is given to the various interests to put forward their observations at those public inquiries. I can assure the Deputy that no area will be designated without the views of all interests involved, including traditional fishermen, being taken into consideration.
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