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Ministers Coughlan and Browne launch improved Sea Lice Control Strategy for Salmon Farms

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., and Minister of State John Browne T.D., today launched a new strategy for improved pest control on Irish salmon farms.

The sea lice is the common enemy of both the salmon farmer and wild fisheries. Monitoring of sea lice on salmon farms was initiated in 1991 and involves inspection and sampling at all fish farms 14 times per annum with treatment required where sea lice levels are above target levels.

The improved strategy intends to build on the existing monitoring and treatment regime through intensifying and revitalising the single bay management approach and making it central to national policy for sea lice management. The new approach will incorporate 'real time' management of sea lice infestations on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally the strategy calls for further work to be done in the coming months in identifying further treatment options and options to optimise the use of available licensed salmon farm sites from a sea lice management perspective.

A national implementation group, comprising representatives from the Minister's Department, the industry, B.I.M. and the Marine Institute, is also to be established to review ongoing progress made to reduce sea lice levels and to report to the Minister within six months with recommendations on further steps, if any, required to redress the situation.

Date Released: 06 May 2008