Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:12 pm

I can't put up a link by phone (maybe someone else could) but the editorial in today's Times titled "Spare the Rod" supports proposed changes. This includes the proposed introduction of an angling licence/charges.

Mod edit: ... -1.1753314

Mod edit: Copied the text into post:
The Government has been taking soundings among angling organisations on how Inland Fisheries Ireland might manage, fund and protect a valuable national resource. Draft proposals involving an annual charge, an angling register, identity cards and a penalty points system have been produced. The Angling Council of Ireland, representing most angling federations, supports the initiative. But it has been rejected by some trout and pike organisations which are threatening a repeat of the so-called “rod war” of 1987-89.
Most countries operate a licensing system for all forms of angling. It establishes a basic register of fishermen. After that, other charges may apply. Rules dictate where and how many fish may be killed and there are size limits and penalties for illegal behaviour. Salmon licences and conservation rules apply here. But, unlike neighbouring jurisdictions, there is no general register of anglers and little enforcement of regulations.
If a resource is not directly owned and managed, it tends to be ruthlessly exploited. That happens in sea fisheries where international trawlers compete. It also occurs on our great lakes and rivers where selfish trout anglers operate on the basis that: if I don’t kill it, somebody else will. Such a free-for-all has had predictable consequences for fish stocks and for law enforcement.
As happened 25 years ago, raw emotion is driving opposition to change. Earlier this year, the Connacht Angling Council described the proposed annual charge and the introduction of identity cards as “an attack on a traditional way of life”. The language hasn’t changed. But circumstances have. Most experienced anglers accept that water pollution, the impact of invasive species, modern angling practices and over-fishing have greatly reduced stocks. There is disagreement, however, on the need for strict conservation controls and a basic charge. These are not “free” fisheries. They are national treasures that require extensive rehabilitation and protection.
Last edited by Divisadero on Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:03 pm

Thanks for adding the link.

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Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:07 pm

There's a few things on the go here:

Firstly the heads of the bill that were published do not instate a charge.
There was a discussion document in circulation - That's all it was, a discussion document.
Details of the pre-Christmas meeting with IFI are detailed here: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=45085

Secondly, that strikes me a naive piece of writing especially when read as a sea angler...

Thirdly, IFSA as part of the ACI would seem to be in favour of a charge - IFSA members should be checking out who is representing them and if they have supported such measures without the mandate of the clubs there should be coup :roll:

I think that the issue will arise again but to my thinking it will not arise until another government. We are too close to a General Election for this sort of stuff to fly.

Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:29 pm

That's why I said proposed Jim. None of this is set in stone. I'm not surprised by the content of the editorial. To a non-angler it prob makes perfect sense especially in this day and age.

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Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:47 pm

I'm not being pedantic here but: there is no proposal that I am aware of.
Can anyone point me towards a proposal? There was/is a discussion document that was "circulated/leaked".

Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:15 pm

I'm going to sound pedantic now! The editorial in the Times is addressing a possible licence. Regarding the discussions themselves it is my understanding that a licence or some form of angler contribution was on the table but may now may be losing favour. I think it was discussed in Anglers Digest. Someone else on here may have some details.

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Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:57 am


excuse my naivety - i know the laws with regards to fishing but im no expert on legislations etc. but what would be the downside if something like this were to be introduced and ca it really be applied to sea angling?

i can understand the 'traditional way of life' but surely it would generate more money to 'police' waters more effectively therefore ensuring better fishing for all those who are legal and above board.

in my experience in the north the problem is not the rules which we introduce but how we enforce them. All too often i have paid to fish waters with all sorts of weird and wonderful rules, bag limits etc. only to find out about other people who have completely disregarded the rules and got away with it.

if people are going to have to fork out extra for more licensing etc then you want bang for your buck. i.e more effective enforcement of the laws. it may not be a simple as that as ive heard before - but in my eyes it is.

just my thoughts

Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:34 am

I think I may post up the content of that post of 18/12/2013 - It explains the current situation.

JimC on 18/12/2013 wrote:In the light of the recent speculation about an “Angler Contribution/Licence” to be included in the new “Inland Fisheries Bill” it was decided to seek a meeting with IFI in order to clarify the situation.
John Q and myself met with IFI today (18/12) at their offices in Clonmel.
(There was a meeting between IFI and most of the angling federations yesterday in Dublin. I understand that there was none of the sea angling federations present.)

Apparently the current fisheries bill includes the provision for the imposition for a licence should the government ever see fit. The new bill will include a similar provision. (Understand here that the licence has never been brought in). If some scheme were to ever be brought in there would need to be secondary legislation to cover the scheme.

There is currently no plan to introduce an Angler Contribution/Licence.
IFI reckon that there is need for some form of funding to support angling initiatives. They see the imposition of an Angling Contribution/Licence as an option in providing funding. The angling federations are described as being in favour of some scheme. To be fair, most people I have spoken to are not opposed to a licence in theory if it can be shown to be of benefit to anglers, angling, fish & funding is ring fenced etc. etc.
IFI have looked for/are looking for ideas, options and discussion documents to be submitted about the whole fisheries bill including the Contribution/Licence.

We outlined that:
Many sea anglers are seasonal in that they do not fish all year round. There would seem to be more casual sea anglers than freshwater anglers.
Most sea anglers are not represented by the two angling federations (IFSA & EFSA).
That the perception of sea anglers is that the quality of their fishing is decreasing and this more than any other factor needs to be addressed.
IFI is currently not in a position to affect the quality of fishing for any sea species other than Bass.
Other than Portugal, there is no other EU county that has a sea angling licence. This licence is not deemed to be successful not least by the European Tackle Trade Ass.
It seems to be easy to find reasons and justification for a Licence/Contribution in freshwater angling it would be a lot more difficult to justify the same for Sea Angling.
Sea angling is a very different activity when compared to freshwater angling in terms of control and resource.
That IFI needs to communicate with sea anglers on IFI’s role or the role that they wish to take with respect to sea angling.

All told the meeting was an interesting one. It would seem to bear out the adage “wait for something official before speculating”. The issue will not go away but there will be nothing brought in without consensus.

This the situation as it stands. Anything else is speculation.

Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:35 am

Statement of 7 April 2014

Angling Charges

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.

Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:50 pm

Thanks for the info. So as was my understanding an angler contribution was on the table but they are currently backing off. Interesting though that the Times devoted an editorial to the issue as it has had very little coverage in the media.

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Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:24 pm

He has also stated there is no such proposal for consideration.

This has been the position since the outset.

There are those that are intent on making an issue where there is none. There is a Facebook campaign and some public meetings being held shortly. This seems to me to be more about the politics of angling than anything else at this stage. This is perhaps no bad thing. The Angling Council of Ireland (ACI) (Who? :shock: :D ) and their constituent federations are not coming out of this crowned with glory. There appears to be a move for change with some of the non-ACI federations and even with some of the ACI federations now rowing back on the support for charges/licence/contribution that the ACI gave in their submission on the new Fisheries Bill. The support for charges seems to have stemmed from a discussion document that was circulated giving various scenarios - I believe that this discussion document originated within IFI. It would appear that the support was given without mandate for all or most of the federations. On the saltwater side, I gather that the IFSA did not consult their member clubs.

It would be, in my opinion, be no bad thing to get the "blood letting" out of the way and let the various bodies get representatives in place that will do exactly that: represent the interests of their members. Many of the current crop seem to have lost their focus.

The issue of charges/licence/contribution is not going away. As I said earlier, I think that it may be a matter that the next government will look at again (hopefully not). Affiliated anglers will need decent representation when it all come up again.

We as sea anglers will be in a tough place. Most of us are not members of clubs and from my previous post it would seem that a Sea Rod Licence is unworkable due to the fact that our fish are not protected (other than the fig leaf that bass get) and in fact are being fished to extinction.

Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:33 pm

I've said this before and it is a long shot as we anglers seem better at fighting amongst ourselves rather than uniting but we need something like the Angling Trust in the UK. One body that represents all anglers game, coarse and sea. Otherwise we have no effective voice and an angling organisation that doesn't even really represent us may get to speak for us. And in fairness to the govt how can they know what anglers really want when they have to deal with so many different often conflicting groups claming to represent anglers.

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no compulsory charge for anglers

Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:24 pm ... ory-charge

WEDNESDAY, 09 APRIL 2014 17:48
Galway anglers relieved at confirmation of no new charge
Galway Bay fm newsroom - The government has opted not to introduce a compulsory charge for anglers across Galway and nationwide.

Galway West Fine Gael TD Sean Kyne says the levy had been discussed in the context of the proposed new inland fisheries legislation.

He has now confirmed that Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd has given an assurance that no such proposal is up for consideration.

Galway West TD Sean Kyne says it's good news for anglers who had feared the charge could be introduced in a similar manner to the rod licence levy.

Re: Irish Times editorial on Angling proposals

Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:56 pm

I have about half a century of experience of dealing with fisheries at the sharp end in Ireland and you can take it that the official state line is based on either total ignorance or a bare faced lie.