Dáil Éireann - Volume 548 - 19 February, 2002
Written Answers. - Inland Waterways.
Mr. Deasy Mr. Deasy
354. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the fishing rights Dúchas has on the River Laune; the number of fish allowed to be caught annually; and the reason for the figures involved. [5340/02]
Miss de Valera Miss de Valera
Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): Beats 1 to 4, inclusive, of the River Laune Fishery are State-owned and the rights to these fisheries are held by me. However, in recent years, Dúchas, the heritage service of my Department, has operated a management agreement in respect of beats 1, 2 and 4 with the South-Western Regional Fisheries Board and, in respect of beat 3, with the Laune Salmon and Trout Anglers Association. Both entities have been offered an extension of those agreements for the 2002 season. With regard to the Deputy's inquiry about the number of fish allowed to be caught annually, the position is that while several species of fish – including salmon, sea-trout, brown trout and eels – are caught annually on the Laune, figures are available only in respect of salmon catches.
In this regard, fishing on beats 1 to 4 of the Laune is subject to the same statutory conservation measures as apply nationally. For example, the one-spring-salmon-per-day-per-person prescription which has been recently introduced by the Minister for Marine and Natural Resources. There is also a limit of 24 rods per day on beats 1, 2 and 4 and a limit of ten rods per day on beat 3. This equates to a maximum catch per day of 34 salmon. The rod limits are set and monitored by the South-Western Regional Fisheries Board in order to regulate fishing for salmon on the beats in the interests of safety and conservation.
The Deputy should be aware that salmon is an “annex 11” protected species under the Euro pean Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1997, which is the highest categorisation of protection afforded. Dúchas is working within the catchment management system, established under the auspices of the Minister for Marine and Natural Resources, to agree fishing extraction numbers with all sectors in the overall Laune catchment, with the objective of ensuring that extraction does not exceed sustainable levels.
Dáil Éireann 548 Written Answers. Inland Waterways.