Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Ceisteanna (536)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

536. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to fines being issued by Inland Fisheries Ireland to anglers fishing without possession of a midlands regional fishing permit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37213/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Midlands Fisheries Permit applies to fisheries in the ownership of the ESB which are defined as private fisheries. The ESB’s midlands fisheries are managed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) by agreement with the ESB including and arrangement for IFI to use the permit fees, due to ESB as fishery owners, from these fisheries to fund the management costs. These costs are additional to IFI’s costs for managing State owned fisheries. ESB charge similar fees for its directly managed fisheries.

The practice of charging permit fees is long established and angling clubs that licence a fishery from the State may also charge a permit for anglers, not a member of the club.

It is important to note that a significant portion of the permit revenue is redistributed by IFI into the catchments by way of the Midlands Fisheries Fund which provides funding to angling clubs, community groups etc. to enhance those fisheries.

Annual permit fees amount to 86c per week for adults, 48c per week for senior citizens and 38c per week for juveniles. Permits for shorter periods are also available.

Section 178 of the Fisheries Consolidation Act 1959 provides that it is an offence to fish in a private fishery without the required authorisation. IFI are charged with enforcing this section and section 80 of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010 provides that a fixed charge notice may be issued in respect of such offences.