Thursday, 10 March 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
71. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he will revoke the fishing permit for coarse angling introduced in 2003 on the River Suck; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8070/05]
Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Gallagher): As I informed the House in my response to the same question from the Deputy on 22 February last, under the Fisheries Acts 1959 to 2001, the issuing of permit charges for angling is an operational matter for the relevant regional fisheries board. In this instance it is a matter for the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board. It is not an issue over which I, as Minister of State with responsibility for marine matters, have any control. I am advised that all revenues generated by the regional fisheries boards from permit fees are retained by the boards and re-invested in the ongoing management and development of fisheries in their regions.
72. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources his views on the draconian decision by the EU Fisheries Council to impose vast no fishing areas off Ireland’s west coast. [8069/05]
Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Gallagher): The areas to which the Deputy refers are closed areas for one species only, orange roughy, which inhabits a deep sea fishery. Deep sea quotas were introduced for the first time in 2002, covering the years 2003 and 2004. Revised quotas for 2005 and 2006 involving cuts of 15% for most species, including orange roughy, were agreed at last December’s Council. As the Deputy is aware, there is a particular need to protect orange roughy because of the very long life cycle of the species which makes it particularly vulnerable to exploitation.
The implementation of effective management strategies is an especially acute challenge in such circumstances and experience in similar fisheries in other parts of the world, notably in New Zealand, suggests that more targeted alternatives to the closure of large sea areas is, at least, equally effective. A major scientific project is currently under way off Ireland’s west coast to assess orange roughy spawning aggregations and estimate stock biomass. The project involves scientists from the Irish Marine Institute, BIM, UCC and NUI Galway as well as from New Zealand and Norway. The results of the work will be available in a number of months.
I will ensure that the results of the study are made available to relevant parties, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries, and DG FISH. In the event that the study justifies an alternative management approach to the current orange roughy closures, I will press the EU Commission to bring forward new proposals for a more tailored and targeted management plan for orange roughy.
In respect of the deep sea stocks subject to TACs, most of which are of high value, the Irish deep water fleet has quotas of almost 3,000 tonnes available to it in 2005. On the basis of these allocations and additional opportunities for other non-quota stocks, the deep sea fishery will remain important for the small number of vessels concerned.
|Last Updated: 04/11/2010 08:11:55||Page of 145|