Wednesday, 6 March 2019
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Salmon Hardship Scheme
246. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if consideration has been given to a buy-out scheme for salmon fishery licence holders; if so, the position regarding same; if there is an option available to offer licences for sale; if a compensation package will be made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11021/19]
Commercial fishing for salmon is by way of public licence. Licences are applied for and issued annually. An annual public licence does not confer property or other rights on the holder and consequently licences are not transferable and cannot be offered for sale. In that regard also, the issue of compensation does not arise. The Salmon Hardship Scheme was introduced following the decision to cease, for conservation reasons, the commercial salmon mixed stock fishery in the sea. In excess of €25 million was allocated to the scheme to facilitate payments to fishermen with a further €5 million provided for community development projects. Under the scheme, fishermen active in the fishery could opt to voluntarily cease fishing in the commercial drift net and draft net sectors and undertake not to seek a licence in the future. The scheme closed for applications on 31 December 2007 and ceased in 2008 and I understand that all funds were expended and there are no plans to revisit such a scheme.