Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Inland Fisheries Ireland Expenditure
279. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he is satisfied that all projects carried out with financial assistance from Inland Fisheries Ireland's salmon conservation fund over the period from 2007 to 2013 were the subject of the required screening statements and or full appropriate assessments where the projects in question were located in or adjacent to areas or rivers designated under the Natura 2000 environmental regulations; where these statements and assessments may be viewed; if they are not published and publicly available, if he will state the specific public interest for withholding them from publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28331/14]
I am advised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that the Salmon Conservation Fund commenced in 2007 in which IFI were requested to prepare and undertake suitable qualifying projects for the rehabilitation of wild Atlantic Salmon stocks. This process was opened up to contributors to the fund in 2010 (anglers and commercial fishermen). The current protocol for all suitable qualifying projects is to check whether all qualifying projects are contained within a Natura 2000 site. The Deputy will appreciate that projects proposed and undertaken under the Salmon Conservation Fund are undertaken throughout the country, often by small angling clubs and local communities, and that IFI strives to achieve full compliance by clubs and communities with relevant regulations in projects while avoiding an unreasonable regulatory burden.
Any proposed project deemed to be impacting within a Natura 2000 site is requested by IFI to submit project proposals to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) for that body to ensure any works proposed are not impacting on Europe's most valuable and threatened habitats and species. Screening statements and / or full appropriate assessments are undertaken only if instructed by the NPWS.
Such screening statements and/ or full appropriate assessments are not routinely published but are available on request from IFI.