The Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd, along with representatives from the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) recently briefed Oireachtas members on the comprehensive review of all extant fisheries legislation that is currently taking place.
This review is being undertaken with a view to formulating proposals for a new Inland Fisheries Bill. The aim of the proposed new Bill is to ensure that the sector is underpinned by a robust and modern legislative code.
The consultation process began last Spring when stakeholders were invited to submit their views on a range of policy objectives to be included in the new Bill. As part of this process Minister O’Dowd, DCENR and IFI attended a number of well attended public information meeting held throughout the country.
The Minister and officials from DCENR and IFI set out possible proposals that might be contained in the new draft Bill and invited all stakeholders to make submissions as regards proposals they would like to see included.
As part of the consultation process 70 submissions were received from interested stakeholders, a significant proportion of which recognised the need to fund the development of the sector.
The briefing for Oireachtas members was arranged to address concerns voiced in the public domain and on social media, specifically those centering around the proposed funding of the development of the angling sector. It was made clear that no proposal relating to the possible introduction of a ‘rod licence’ had been surfaced and that it is not intended to make such a proposal.
The Minister, DCENR and IFI welcome all proposals for developing the angling sector in Ireland and how this may be funded. In this regard, it is intended that further comprehensive stakeholder consultation will take place prior to any finalisation of the proposed Inland Fisheries Bill.