Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Questions (136)

Mattie McGrath


136. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the reason for the change in the by-laws which have been introduced recently to prohibit the use of worms, prawns and shrimp when fishing for salmon and sea trout on the River Suir; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21620/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I can advise the Deputy that in advance of the 2013 angling season, the River Suir Angling Federation, representing the majority of angling clubs and fishery owners on the river, made representations to instigate a ban on the use of prawn and shrimp as angling bait on the River for the 2013 season. The use of worms as bait has already been banned for a number of years. On foot of these representations, I requested Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) to conduct a public consultation processes to canvass as wide a view as possible from stakeholders. The outcome was that the significant majority of anglers and fishery owners on the River Suir were in favour of banning these baits. Local Public representatives were advised of the consultation process and its outcomes. The banning of prawn/shrimp as bait simply supports the proposal put forward by a local angling federation which was widely supported by the majority of anglers on the Suir. Alternative fishing methods, such as the use of spinners are not affected by the bye law and remain available where waters are not suitable for fly fishing. I have asked IFI to review the impact of the bye law and advise further in advance of the 2014 season.