Dáil Éireann - Volume 595 - 14 December, 2004

Written Answers - Inland Fisheries.

[439]   161. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if a consultancy report (details supplied) has been published on inland fisheries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33133/04]

  Mr. Gallagher:My predecessor appointed consultants to undertake a high level review of the inland fisheries sector. The consortium of consultants is led by Farrell Grant Sparks Consulting and comprises the centre for environment, fisheries and aquaculture science and the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, NUI, Maynooth.

The review will deliver a root and branch examination of the State’s role and objectives in the inland fisheries sector. The consultants are required to evaluate the adequacy of the current model for the governance of inland fisheries sector; to define the current relationship between the Government, the Departments and the inland fisheries sector and suggest new more effective models; and to recommend a structure which will contribute to the optimum development of the inland fisheries resource.

I am advised by the independent steering group, established by the Minister to oversee the work of the consultants, that while the complex review is not yet complete, the process is coming to a close and the consultants expect to present their report to me early in the new year. While I appreciate that previous indications were that I expected to receive this report before now, I am sure the Deputy will nevertheless agree that, given the size and complexity of the task assigned to them, it is important that the consultants be allowed the necessary time to deliver a report which fully and comprehensively addresses all the issues. I have asked the steering group to ensure, however, that there is no undue delay in the process.