Friday, 6 September 2019

Ceisteanna (1484, 1506, 1507)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

1484. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to bring in a new statutory instrument to replace Statutory Instrument 906, which related to salmonid waters and was annulled; his plans to give particular protection to the salmonid rivers and lakes of the west of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34903/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

1506. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce a by-law to enable anglers on loughs Corrib, Mask and Carra to remove four coarse fish from the lakes at any one session of fishing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35554/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

1507. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to reintroduce by-law 906, which was introduced initially by the Minister of State; if so, if it will be as was; if not, if it will be amended; when he plans to address the matter; if an appropriate assessment has been carried out in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35555/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1484, 1506 and 1507 together.

The existing Bye-law No. 806 of 2006 provides for persons to take and kill up to 4 coarse fish per day. These provisions apply throughout the State.

There is no reference in secondary legislation related to inland fisheries to “Statutory Instrument 906”. However, I assume the Deputy is referring to Bye-law 964 of 2018 which related to several lakes and which was annulled in the High Court following the initiation of legal proceedings . The preparation of a new Bye-law has recently commenced and its content and progress will be subject to legal advice and technical/scientific advice, particularly as regards EU legislation and other appropriate issues.

I would emphasise that, in the meantime, the lakes referred to by the Deputy and other lakes have long been designated, as a matter of policy, for management primarily for the benefit of wild brown trout and that policy designation remains. I am advised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that Stock Management Plans in respect of these and other lakes for 2019 were agreed by its Board.

Salmon in all waters in Ireland are afforded specific protection via established fisheries policy, licensing, tagging, the opening and closing of fisheries based on the state of their stock and annual conservation legislation. Ireland’s protection of salmon is considered best in class internationally and aligns fully with the EU Habitats Directive and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) principles.

The salmon management regime also applies to sea-trout over 40cms in length and the potential to extend similar protection policies to other salmonid species could be considered to afford particular protection to salmonids generally.