The Minister of State Fergus O Dowd TD has confirmed that a compulsory charge for anglers will not be introduced in the context of the proposed new inland fisheries legislation. He has also stated there is no such proposal for consideration.
The context for new legislation is the need to bring the legislative code in the sector into a system that is fit for the 21st Century. In that regard, under existing legislation breach of fisheries legislation can result in prosecution, potentially leading to imprisonment. It has been raised in consultation as to whether there is a better way and if lesser breaches could be taken outside the court system perhaps via a fixed penalty system.
There are no predetermined proposals for any issue for new legislation and the consultation process is on-going. The Minister of State has made repeatedly clear that he wishes to see the fullest possible level of consensus before any proposals are finalised. He also gave a commitment at recent meetings with the Angling Bodies that no proposal will be finalised until the current round of inter-federation discussions are complete, and that he will not facilitate any proposals which might be a source of division within the sector.