Tuesday, 11 March 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
370. Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he will allay the fears of Irish salmon producers facing the opening up of a free-for-all market in May 2003. [7221/03]
Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. D. Ahern): Under the EU-Norway Salmon Agreement anti-dumping and countervailing measures remain in place since October 1997 in regard to farmed salmon imports from Norway. No measures are in place in regard to imports from either the Faeroes or Chile. The results of investigations last year by the EU Commission of alleged dumping by Norway, the Faeroe Islands and Chile of farmed Atlantic salmon on the EU market were published by the Commission immediately before Christmas. The question of putting in place any future measures in respect of either Norway,  the Faeroes or Chile is dependent on the outcome of these investigations.
The Commission has recommended the termination of proceedings without the imposition of any measures on imports into the Community. The findings and recommendations of the report were rejected by Ireland and the UK, particularly the conclusion that there is no imminent threat of dumping by Norway. In the context of the threat to Community producers from large scale low priced imports, Ireland advised that it would be prudent to monitor market trends over the coming months to reflect further on the conclusions and reconsider the matter. Because of the views of Ireland and the UK, the Commission has agreed to allow a further short period of reflection to consider all objective criteria raised by industry and by member states since publication of the documents. It should be noted, however, that Ireland and the UK are alone in opposing the Commission's proposal to terminate the proceedings. My Department, together with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, are continuing to monitor the situation and maintain close contact with the Commission and other relevant parties in a bid to secure a satisfactory outcome to this issue.
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