Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
111. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to compensate drift and draft net fishers affected by the 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. [44719/21]
112. 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 a compensation package will be made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44720/21]
113. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if consideration will be given to allowing draft salmon licence holders the option of transferring licences or offer them for public sale; if consideration will be given to making a compensation package available for draft salmon licence holders who previously declined a compensation package; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44725/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 111, 112 and 113 together. I propose to take Questions Nos 111, 112 and 113 together
Commercial salmon fishing licences are public licences which must be taken out annually under the provisions of the Fisheries Acts. Such licences are also entirely permissive in nature, confer no fishing rights on the licensee, are not the property of the holder nor can they be held on a permanent basis.In the circumstances, transferring or offering such an annual licence for sale is not appropriate.
In 2007, the Government established a €25m hardship scheme open to all holders of a commercial salmon licence. In relation to such schemes, as no fishing or property rights are conferred on the holder of an annual licence, the issue of “buyout” or compensation does not arise. The majority of active fisherpersons availed of payment under the measure and the scheme closed in 2008 with all funds expended.
There are no plans to introduce a similar scheme.
For the information of the Deputy, I have asked my Department to set out a Roadmap towards a revised policy for the Inland Fisheries sector which will be subject to consultation. While I cannot pre-empt the policy review or consultation, I intend the review will be comprehensive and focused on conservation imperatives. Measures for salmon conservation will be included among a wide range of issues and there will be an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to the consultation and to potential policy initiatives.