Dáil Éireann - Volume 508 - 29 September, 1999
Written Answers. - Spray Weirs.
Mr. Finucane Mr. Finucane
185. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he intends to sign a by-law for the Waterford Estuary weirs restricting use of spray weirs in the Waterford River Barrow, River Nore and River Suir estuaries for the period 1 April to 15 June each year; if his attention has been drawn to a recent court action in which the District Judge stated these weirs were illegal 365 days a year; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that the Suir Fishermen's Federation is opposed to these weirs even being used for a restricted period and wants them removed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17713/99]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods): I confirm that the Southern Regional Fisheries Board has made an application for the introduction of a by-law to prohibit the use of any net on the Waterford Estuary spray weirs during the period 1 April to 15 June to allow for the migration of salmon smolts. The southern board's request arises from concerns about the level of smolt mortality in the weirs during the migration period.
My attention has been drawn to the proceedings in Waterford District Court on 15 January 1999 in relation to the operation of spray weirs and I am also aware of the views of the Suir Fishermen's Federation.
My decision in relation to the by-law will be informed, inter alia, by submissions received following the publication of the by-law application by the Southern Regional Fisheries Board and the legal and scientific advice available to my Department and in consultation with all relevant interests.
Dáil Éireann 508 Written Answers. Spray Weirs.