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Govt Commits To Mussel Restoration Project


NORTERHN IRELAND - Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle ONeill MLA today met with members from the Ulster Wildlife Trust (UWT) last week to discuss ways to move forward a restoration plan for the modiolus (horse mussel).

The Minister said: “The recent QUB report on the Modiolus Restoration Research Project provides a detailed assessment of Modiolus sites in Strangford Lough. We now need to assess the practical options open to us which can contribute to the Report’s recommendations for future protection, intervention and monitoring programmes.

“I have taken the opportunity today to confirm to the Ulster Wildlife Trust that my Department has introduced two non-fishing zones in the protection area earlier this year. We will examine the impact that these are having in due course. I also assured them that I am in direct contact with my Executive colleague Environment Minister Alex Attwood on this issue. We have agreed to bring forward proposals on each of the recommendations to the Commission this autumn.”

“The Report has been forwarded to the Commission and we will be engaging with them as we develop an updated Restoration Plan for the next period.”