Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:12 pm
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.
Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:03 pm
Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:07 pm
Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:29 pm
Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:47 pm
Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:15 pm
Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:57 am
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:34 am
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.
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:35 am
Statement of 7 April 2014
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.
Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:50 pm
Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:24 pm
He has also stated there is no such proposal for consideration.
Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:33 pm
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:24 pm
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.
Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:56 pm