Protecting shellfish ‘could delay development’

Nine Kerry towns will need improved wastewater treatment if various harbours are designated for conservation under the EU Shellfish Waters Directive.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is moving to conserve up to 49 harbours in order to protect shellfish against water contamination and pollution.

However, a local authority official has warned that designating various coastal areas of Kerry could increase costs and the likelihood of delay in sewage treatment plants in those parts, the Irish Times reports.

Kerry county director of water services Oliver Ring said major harbours and bays in the region could be affected.

The Kenmare River, Valentia harbour, Tralee Bay and west Shannon Ballylangford are to be designated.

In written advice to councillors, Mr Ring said: “There is also the potential that the proposed designation may adversely impact on the future development of piers and harbours, and on coastal protection works.”

The directive sets physical, chemical and microbiological water quality requirements to protect the aquatic habitat of bivalve and gastropod molluscs.

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