PD policy on drift-netting


Madam, - Your Editorial of October 12th on salmon drift-netting states that the Progressive Democrats oppose netting because we "have recognised the popularity" of the conservationist approach of some of the opposition parties.

This is incorrect. The report by Joe Humphries on the matter in the same issue of The Irish Times quotes me as stating that the Progressive Democrats had a policy against drift-netting since 1999. That is accurate.

That policy, part of a Progressive Democrats environmental policy that was adopted by the general council, said: "We propose an immediate ban on all drift netting at sea with fair and appropriate compensation for all licence holders".

During this year's Oireachtas summer recess the party undertook a comprehensive review of Ireland's salmon resource. It confirmed our earlier concerns and concluded that the problem had worsened: angling tourism numbers had halved in five years, scientific advice was being ignored and the survival of the Atlantic salmon was very much in question.

The policy was endorsed by the parliamentary party in early September and formally adopted by the general council in Galway. It reiterated the Progressive Democrats' intention, within Government, to "actively seek the cessation of drift netting at sea". - Yours, etc,

Senator JOHN DARDIS, Progressive Democrats, Seanad Éireann, Dublin 2.