To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will take appropriate action to have produced, as a matter of urgency, a comprehensive plan for the future development of Strangford lough which will identify suitable locations for commercial marine farming, salmon farming and the holding cages for brood salmon stock, consistent with sensible conservation policies.
It is the intention of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland to bring forward a proposal to designate Strangford lough as a marine nature reserve and to designate the shoreline of the lough as an area of special scientific interest. The need to prepare a plan for the management of the lough in the context of these designations has been accepted and consideration is presently being given to the form of the plan. The urgency of the matter is readily accepted and I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.