The media report referred to by the Deputy does not in any way reflect the context or content of the conversation which took place at a meeting at which I was present on 23 July last.
My Department is fully committed to fisheries conservation and protection. Salmon in all waters in Ireland are afforded specific protection via established fisheries policy, licensing, tagging, the opening, closing or catch and release provisions for fisheries based on the state of their individual stock and annual conservation legislation initiated by the Department. All of this is underpinned by annual scientific assessment of each of Ireland’s more than 140 genetically distinct salmon fisheries. 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.