I propose to take Questions Nos. 177 and 178 together.
I am advised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that communication with the National Anglers Representative Association (NARA) is on-going.
In addition, I am advised that, shortly after the establishment of the Fish Farm Working Group from across a range of disciplines within IFI, angling federations, including NARA, were invited to nominate two representatives to participate in the Group's deliberations. IFI have never refused to facilitate attendance by any nominated representative and the NARA representatives have attended when the meetings of the Group have been held.
The group last met on 29 April, a meeting I attended with senior officials of both my Department and IFI, and the Group collectively agreed to meet again when a number of matters under discussion have been progressed.
As regards recent modest increases in the cost of trout provided from IFI Fish Farm, this matter was discussed within the Group including with angling representatives. It would be preferable if the operations were entirely self financing covering their costs on a fully allocated basis.
However, the fact is that even with the modest price increases, the cost of fish supplied remains significantly below production cost and this represents a substantial subsidy from public funds for a select number of clubs who avail of the service.
IFI advise that internal consultations with its senior leadership which includes Divisional Managers and Regional Directors has not revealed any invitation to attend the NARA AGM for 2019.