Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (492)

Thomas Byrne


492. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to chair the National Inland Fisheries Forum in the interim before a chair is appointed. [16055/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I refer to the reply to Question No. 229 of 27 March 2019. The necessity for a further review of the Forum’s operation is being contemplated within my Department in consultation with Inland Fisheries Ireland to consider the impact of continued poor attendance by stakeholders.

Response to PQ 229 of 27 March 2019

The National Inland Fisheries Forum is established by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) under the Inland Fisheries Act 2010 to provide a mechanism for a wide range of stakeholders to input into the sector generally.

A review of the original Forum, following 3 years of operation, identified that the low attendance from among the 60 members at meetings led to sub-optimal delivery on the Forum’s business. In that regard, the quorum for meetings of the Forum was reduced to address this issue. Following the review, the Forum entered its second iteration in October 26 2017.

Each of the main angling organisations was requested to nominate two members to represent their interests for the duration of the second cycle of the Forum. These nominees were then appointed to the Forum by the then Minister. The process of filling the remainder of vacancies on the new Forum was managed by the Public Appointment Service (PAS). Not all of the nominations available were taken up by the angling organisations and coupled with the PAS process a total of 44 members were appointed

I am advised by Inland Fisheries Ireland that the first meeting of the current Forum took place on 26 October 2017 and 16 of the 44 members attended. Twenty three members and 1 non-member attended the January 2018 meeting. The Forum last met in April 2018 and the meeting was very poorly attended with only 14 of the 44 members in attendance.

The Chair of the Forum recently resigned due to other business commitments. The process to appoint a new Chair is in hand and it is expected that meetings will resume when that process is complete.