This week Ciaran Mussen, Green candidate for South Down expressed his grave concerns over the ravages done to the Carlingford Lough sea-bed from rapacious mussel dredging.
He expressed his concern in a series of questions which require immediate attention.
WHO is monitoring the environmental impact of this intensive mussel harvesting? Up to twenty trawlers are dredging in the vicinity on a continuous basis. The detritus is dumped overboard as they return to port, forming a thick sludge on the sea surface on calm days.
WHO is assessing the environmental impact of this sludge?
WHO is assessing the long-tern impact of fishermen destroying starfish and crabs in order to protect the mussels?
WHO is monitoring the effects on the navigability of the Lough, for commercial shipping into Warrenpoint and Greenore? Indeed, for the pleasure yachts of Warrenpoint and Carlingford?
WHAT are the effects on all other marine life in Carlingford Lough?
It is vital for the well-being of South Down that
Ciaran Mussen concluded:
‘No one appears to be monitoring the water quality of the Lough in the interests of the people of the area. If Warrenpoint beach is not now being checked, I will demand to know when and by whom that decision was made.
If the answers I receive here are unsatisfactory, I will raise the issue with the European Union authorities for possible breach of international environmental laws.’