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Monitoring Buoy to Check Shellfish Conditions

IRELAND - Aquaculture researchers plan to launch a special monitoring buoy in Larne Lough to check shellfish production conditions.

Matt Service, from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, told the Times ongoing research proposes monitoring the lough for salinity, temperature and other variables as well as introducing a system to absorb any contaminants in the water, reports Larne Times.

In the Northern Ireland Executive published a shellfish management plan, which stressed the importance of developing a sustainable aquaculture industry "with minimal environmental impact."

Following the publication Queen's University and the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) launched a research project to investigate the capacity for aquaculture at five sites in Northern Ireland, including Larne Lough.

In 2004, a consortium of researchers launched the first phase of the SMILE (Sustainable Mariculture in Northern Irish Sea Lough Ecosystem) project. Half of Larne Lough was surveyed as one of five shellfish production sites in Northern Ireland.

Ellen Hardy

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