contact us

22 Victoria Road
Derry~Londonderry
Northern Ireland
BT47 2AB

Tel: +44 (0) 28 7134 2100
Email: general@loughs-agency.org

Dundalk Street,
Carlingford,
Co Louth,
Rep. of Ireland

Tel: +353 (0) 42 938 3888
Email: carlingford@loughs-agency.org

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Monitoring

Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough are home to a wide range of important habitats and species. These include over-wintering bird communities and salmon and seal populations. The Loughs are also home to important natural resources in the form of wild shellfish beds including mussels and oysters and areas used for shellfish farming.

Lough Foyle is home to one of the last remaining large wild native oyster fisheries in Europe. Our native oysters are prized as a delicacy in many parts of Europe and our shellfish farms produce around 1/3 of the island of Ireland’s mussels and pacific oysters each year.

It is the Loughs Agency’s job to ensure that these large natural resources are managed in a sustainable manner so that future generations can benefit from them. With this in mind, the Agency operates a marine monitoring programme that promotes the use of the most up to date scientific information on the fisheries and their environment.

This scientific monitoring information is taken into account when regulating the oyster and mussel fishing activity in Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough. Many different aspects of the fisheries are monitored including spawning activity, juvenile and adult abundance and distribution, mortality levels, disease levels and the water quality on which the shellfish depend.

The environmental impact of the shellfish fishing and aquaculture that takes place in both Loughs is also assessed in line with European law to ensure that these activities do not disturb or impact on any other species or habitat of conservation importance.