Martin Ferris TD has expressed his concern that the board and CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland are continuing with their plans to close trout hatcheries in various parts of the country.
Deputy Ferris, who is Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries said:
“The former Minister of State with responsibility for this area, Joe McHugh gave me a commitment that no fish farms would be closed without consultation.
“Minister Sean Kyne has confirmed to my colleague Martin Kenny TD that the time frame for the consultation process will be extended. However, I believe this is a flawed process as it has a predetermined outcome set by IFI to close the hatcheries.
“I would welcome an indication that government has realised the importance of trout hatcheries to the maintenance of our stocks and also of their importance to our tourist industry.
“The Inland Fisheries plan to close them was ill-conceived and badly thought out. There has been wide-spread public opposition to the move and I look forward to the Minister taking decisive action to invest in the inland fisheries capacity to provide stock to our vital angling industry which is worth over €750 million annually in tourism revenue.
“This industry is of national importance and is a major component of our tourism attractions, especially in areas that would not have the traditional tourist attractions of some counties,” said Deputy Ferris.