The €25m Salmon Hardship Scheme adopted by Government is intended to provide a measure of relief to individuals in line with the level of hardship likely to be experienced on foot of the cessation of mixed stock fishing for wild salmon. The overall sum takes account of the levels of payment recommended by the Independent Group, based on the recorded catch history of the eligible licensees. The scheme is being administered by BIM and applicants, who have been notified of their entitlements, have until the 31 December 2007 to take up the offer.
The approach to determining the hardship payments is fair and reasonable and there are no plans to revise the scheme.
The Regional Fisheries Boards and the Marine Institute are closely monitoring wild salmon stocks on a river by river basis with a view to identifying the extent of stock recovery, if any, arising from the cessation of the harvesting of salmon and any stock rehabilitation works undertaken.
In the future event that stocks recover in a particular river and it is established from the results of the Genetic Stock Indentification Project that significant numbers of fish destined for other rivers are not intercepted, it should be possible to exploit the identified surplus by all appropriate methods but within the constraints permitted by the Habitats Directive. Indiscriminate or mixed stock interception of salmon at sea will not be permitted in the future.