Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
20. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to compensate drift and draft net fishers affected by the 2007 ban on commercial salmon fishing; his views on whether the hardship scheme introduced following the ban should be reopened to relevant fishers who did not avail of it at the time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18061/21]
Commercial fishing for salmon is by way of public licence which does not confer any rights on the holder. In that regard the issue of compensation does not arise.
In order to comply with the EU Habitats Directive and the principles of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO), the Government decided in 2006 to cease all indiscriminate commercial fishing in the sea and to manage all salmon fisheries strictly in line with scientific advice. On foot of that decision, in 2007, the Government introduced a hardship scheme open to all holders of a commercial salmon licence.
Funding of €25m was made available for direct payments to former fishermen, based on their track record in the fishery, with a further €5m available for projects in affected communities.
The scheme closed in 2008 with all funds expended and there are currently no plans to introduce a similar scheme.