Dáil Éireann - Volume 472 - 11 December, 1996
Written Answers. - Erne Fisheries Development.
Dr. O'Hanlon Dr. O'Hanlon
139. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for the Marine the plans, if any, he has for the development of the Erne Fisheries; the current stage of the plan; when the plan will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24073/96]
Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett) Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett)
 Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett): The Erne catchment, which is divided approximately evenly between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, is located mainly in counties Fermanagh, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan but also encompasses a part of counties Tyrone, Donegal and Longford. The development of fisheries in the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland portions of the catchment is vested in the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland and the Northern Regional Fisheries Board respectively.
My Department and the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland are the responsible authorities in so far as the implementation of the Fisheries Measures of the INTERREG II programme are concerned. A project involving the rehabilitation of salmon on the Erne catchment was approved under that measure in December last year. The project was drawn up by the relevant agencies North and South including the Electricity Supply Board, the Marine Institute, the Fisheries Conservancy Board for Northern Ireland and the Northern Regional Fisheries Board.
This project, which involves total investment of £1.77 million, aims to reintroduce salmon to the Erne tributaries with a view to producing a self-sustaining population and the creation of angling tourism and employment. The position at present is that the Northern Regional Fisheries Board and the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland are continuing to carry out habitat and electrofishing surveys and, as in previous years, will be stocking out smolts and juvenile fish. Over 70,000 smolts and 1.5 million unfed fry will be stocked out between now and the end of 1999. The Marine Institute will shortly micro-tag smolts while University College, Galway, will carry out a genetic examination of salmon taken this year. While EU funding for this programme has been secured until the end of 1999 it is envisaged that salmon rehabilitation operations on the Erne will continue beyond that to some degree.
I also understand that two projects involving developments in the Erne catchment have been submitted by the Northern Regional Fisheries Board and the relevant statutory agencies in Northern Ireland for funding under the Cross-Border Development Sub-programme of the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation. This sub-programme is jointly administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Finance and personnel in Northern Ireland.
Dáil Éireann 472 Written Answers. Erne Fisheries Development.