Dáil Éireann - Volume 504 - 13 May, 1999

Written Answers. - Salmon Fisheries.

39. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the other EU member states which have compensation schemes on a set aside basis for drift and draft net salmon fishermen; the consideration, if any, given to a voluntary compensation beyond scheme targeted at salmon fishermen; and the consideration, if any, his Department has given to this option. [12364/99]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods): I am not aware that the UK – [1218] which is the only other EU member state with a comparable Atlantic salmon resource – has introduced, or plans to introduce, compensation or set aside schemes for drift and draft net salmon fishermen.

Incentivised reduction in commercial salmon netting in particular catchment areas is one approach which has been proposed to assist the restoration of critical salmon stocks. This needs further investigation in the Irish context and I have allocated £200,000 this year for a pilot scheme to assist the reduction of salmon net activity in selected areas. My Department is currently completing consultations with the regional fisheries boards on the parameters of such a scheme and I expect to receive specific proposals shortly.

40. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the salmon management plans, if any, for specific areas agreed between commercial fishermen and anglers with the objective of extending the salmon fishing season; and the specific areas where this has been achieved. [12362/99]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods): When I announced last February the salmon conservation and management measures for 1999, I confirmed that where commercial salmon fishermen and anglers can agree a management plan for specific areas, I would consider the possibility of extending the season in those areas.

I have not to date received any such management plans or associated applications to extend the season in any particular area. It remains open to local groups, working with the relevant regional fisheries board, to come up with proposals for my consideration.