Written Answers. - Inland Fisheries.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

221 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board intends to introduce a charge for coarse fishing permits, in selected areas on the River Suck and River Shannon; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that a number of well developed angling centres may not be levied with such a charge and that this will create a distortion of business which will seriously impact on the River Suck and River Shannon areas on the Galway-Roscommon border; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2823/03]

I am advised by the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board that it has had a permit charge for trout angling for many years on fisheries that it controls and manages in the region. I am informed by the board that the permit income is reinvested in the conservation and day-to-day management of these fisheries. I understand that the fisheries board, in reviewing its management and the fees charged for its fisheries in 2002, decided to extend the permit charges to cover coarse angling on the board-controlled fisheries, on the basis that it was unfair to charge one angler to fish for one species while another angler fishing for a different species, on the same water, was not charged. As this is an operational matter, I have asked the chief executive officer of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board to address the particular queries raised by the Deputy and to reply directly to him in the matter.