Written Answers. - Inland Fisheries.

Brendan Howlin

Question:

74 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if his attention has been drawn to the claims made by fisheries staff that major rivers in the south west are being abandoned to poachers; the steps being taken to end the activities of poachers and ensure the enforcement of the law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10831/03]

My Department has been advised by the South-Western Regional Fisheries Board that there is no basis to claims that rivers in the south-west region are being abandoned to poachers. Primary responsibility for the conservation and protection of inland fisheries rests with the local fisheries board, in this case the South-Western Regional Fisheries Board. I have asked the chief executive officer of that board to advise the Deputy of the protection measures in place.