Dáil Éireann - Volume 599 - 10 March, 2005
Written Answers. - Fisheries Protection.
Mr. Neville Mr. Neville
107. Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources his position with regard to the case for the cessation of drift netting for salmon. [8505/05]
Mr. Gallagher Mr. Gallagher
Mr. Gallagher: It is the Government’s view that our salmon stock is a national asset, which must be conserved and protected, as well as being exploited as a resource, on a shared and sustainable basis. A delicate balancing exercise is therefore necessary between the needs of the coastal and inland communities who depend on fishing resources for their livelihood and the recreational users, including tourists.
Since 1996, the Department has introduced a range of conservation measures which have seen considerable advancements made in salmon  policy and in particular the management of the commercial salmon fishery. As part of these measures, the drift net season is now confined to a two month period in June and July on a four day week basis. Fishing is only allowed during daylight hours and is confined to the area within the six mile limit. The regional fisheries boards operate the wild salmon and sea trout tagging scheme, which inter alia, limits the total allowable commercial catch of salmon.
This policy of promoting the application of quotas on commercial fishing, including drift netting, and bag limits on angling, has delivered significant catch reductions aimed at achieving the overall shared objective of restoration of salmon stocks. As a result, I have no plans to introduce proposals to cease drift netting for wild Irish salmon but I intend to keep the matter under review in the context of the policy outlined above.
Dáil Éireann 599 Written Answers. Fisheries Protection.