Angling body supports compulsory angling charge
National Anglers Representative Association says move would help fund fish conservation
Angling groups are split over the merits of an annual angling change.
A leading game angling organisation said it would support a compulsory angling charge to conserve and develop fish stocks as part of new legislation to regulate Ireland’s inland fisheries.
The National Anglers Representative Association (NARA) which has 96 affiliated clubs and some 12,000 members, confirmed it will support any proposal to introduce a compulsory angling charge as part of the forthcoming legislation.
“NARA is supportive of the principle of a mandatory angler contribution which would be used to promote angling conservation and development,” said NARA, adding it was committed to ongoing consultation on the issue with its members and other interested parties.
“NARA continues to engage in a consultation process with other angling groups, and from our meetings, it is apparent to us that the majority of angling federations are also supportive of this principle” said the organisation in a statement.
Two other game angling federations, the Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland (TAFI) with 16,000 members and the Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers (FISSTA) with 12,000 members have both come out strongly against any compulsory angling charge.
TAFI Regional Councils in Connaught, Leinster, Munster and Ulster have all voted to oppose the compulsory angling charge with one TAFI source saying they see the plan as an attempt by the State to take over local fisheries run by clubs.
However, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources this week issued a statement seeking to reassure anglers that the Government has no plans to introduce a compulsory charge for anglers as part of move to regulate the €755 million angling sector.
“Minister of State Fergus O Dowd TD has confirmed that a compulsory charge for anglers is not being introduced in the context of the proposed new inland fisheries legislation. He has also stated there is no such proposal for consideration,” said Department statement.
According to NARA, new legislation governing inland fisheries is vital in order to protect, promote and develop the fisheries resource within the State as existing legislation is dated and does not allow for modern fisheries management.
“This is particularly so in relation to the control and management of invasive species, the implementation of necessary conservation measures such as bag limits, size limits, catch and release regulations and the ongoing requirement to control water pollution,” said NARA.
Meanwhile, members of the No to State Rod Licence campaign, who see any move to introduce a compulsory angling charge as a State attempt to wrest control of local fisheries from clubs, are going ahead with a public meeting in Mallow in Co Cork tomorrow.