Written Answers. - Fishing Industry Development.

Jim Higgins

Question:

29 Mr. Higgins (Mayo) asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he is prepared to make additional funds available from the national development plan to enable the Western Regional Fisheries Board carry out pollution control on the River Robe, to deal with the over-grazing and bank erosion of the Owenbrinn River and to carry out stream development in the Mask catchment area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15622/01]

Under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 a total of £24 million has been made available for the development of tourism and recreational angling in the regions. Of this a total of £17 million is available under the Regional Operational Programme for the Border, midlands and western region. When the measure is launched it will be open to the Western Regional Fisheries Board, and other public and private sector interests, to submit project applications for consideration.

The Western Regional Fisheries Board informs me that it intends to submit project proposals in respect of the three catchments referred to by the Deputy at the appropriate time.

The assessment and selection of projects for funding will be a matter for a project assessment committee and a tourism product selection board. Both of these bodies will be independent in their operation and decision-making.

Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 26.