Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (500)

John Lahart

Question:

500. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the point at which instream fishery work became a matter for local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21826/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The principal function of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is the protection, management and conservation of the inland fisheries resource as outlined in the Inland Fisheries Act 2010. However responsibility for instream works may also be a matter for a number of statutory authorities depending on the nature of the development proposed. I am advised that where a river forms part of a drainage district, but is not within a drainage scheme, then responsibility for maintenance of that river falls on the Local Authority(ies) in whose area the river is situate as specified in the 1945 Arterial Drainage Act.

The vast majority of Ireland’s inland fishery waters are included in or are adjacent to Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). I understand that development, in or within 15 kilometres of, an SAC requires screening for Appropriate Assessment under the EU Habitats Directive and this necessitates consultation by the project promoter with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the National Parks and Wildlife Service from whom consent is likely to be required. Such Appropriate Assessments often result in a requirement for planning permission which involves the relevant Local Authority.

IFI provides grant aid for fisheries related work which is available to angling clubs, community groups and Local Authorities and is subject, like all public funding schemes, to all statutory conditions being met and relevant statutory permissions obtained.

Without specific details of the issue being raised by the Deputy it is not possible for me to advise further. If the Deputy has a particular issue in mind I would be happy to ask IFI to liaise with him directly.