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Fisheries Protection.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 7 February 2006

Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Ceisteanna (206, 207, 208)

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

290 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the extent and nature of his recent correspondence with the European Commission with regard to data provided by the Marine Institute showing a serious under-reporting of catches being landed at ports here and the reported secret landings of fish by Irish vessels at the Scottish port of Peterhead; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3989/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

The EU Commission has been informed of certain information that has come to the attention of the Irish authorities in regard to undeclared landings by Irish fishing vessels. A meeting has been requested with Commissioner Borg to advise on the information that has been received and on the actions taken and planned by the Irish authorities to address the matters arising.

Pádraic McCormack

Ceist:

291 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the proposals the National Salmon Commission has made regarding the conservation of salmon stocks; if there is a proposal to close fisheries on the west and east coasts of Ireland; if so, the way in which this can be justified in view of the fact that many tourist anglers have booked their fishing and accommodation months in advance of the common season; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3990/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The National Salmon Commission is due to meet later this month with a view to framing recommendations for the application of management measures to the commercial and recreational angling season for salmon in 2006. Their recommendations will be informed by the advice received from the standing scientific committee and that tendered by the regional fisheries boards' chief executives. They will take account of the terms of reference assigned to the commission on their appointment in September 2005, which require the commission to consider what conservation management mechanisms might be required to achieve the alignment of national and district total allowable catches and quotas with scientific advice given to it by the standing scientific committee.

Upon receipt of the National Salmon Commission's recommendations, I will consider what changes, if any, must be made to the existing regulations and by-laws prior to application.

Pádraic McCormack

Ceist:

292 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if his attention has been drawn to the figures which indicate that the number of angling tourists coming here has dropped by 50% over the past five years; the steps he will take to preserve angling stock which might redress this alarming trend; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3991/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The central and regional fisheries boards devote considerable effort and resources, in collaboration with Tourism Ireland, to the promotion of angling tourism. The overall decline in angling tourism is not unique to Ireland but reflects a trend widespread in Europe. The report of the tourism policy review group to the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism in September 2003 observes a decline in activity holidays which is not confined to angling but also includes cycling and hillwalking.

I understand that Fáilte Ireland is carrying out research among tour operators involved in promoting special activity holidays and special activity holidaymakers. Problems identified include rising costs and access to activities. Fáilte Ireland has also identified angling among main areas of activity for which detailed marketing plans have been agreed, targeting the markets offering the best short-term return. Several other supporting activities are identified across all products including greater understanding of international trends in demand for special interest products.

Fish habitats and stocks are under threat from a variety of adverse environmental and water quality pressures both at sea and in rivers and estuaries. These pressures, along with over-exploitation of stocks, pose a significant threat to the long-term sustainability of this natural resource.

Under the Fisheries Acts, primary responsibility for the protection, conservation and management of inland fisheries stocks rests with the central and regional fisheries boards. As Minister with responsibility for the marine, I rely on the advice of the fisheries boards and the National Salmon Commission when determining policy and legislative measures aimed at protecting these stocks. Any such measures that may be recommended to me, whether in respect of game or coarse angling, will be considered with a view to their early implementation.

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