Dáil Éireann - Volume 434 - 20 October, 1993

Written Answers. - Eel Fishing Industry.

172. Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the potential of the eel fishing industry; if he will grant aid investment in developing the fishing, processing and exporting of eels; if his attention has been further drawn to the potential for job creation within the industry; and if he will publish the recent study carried out by his Department into this industry.

Minister of State at the Department of the Marine (Mr. G. O'Sullivan): Demand for eels has been increasing in recent years and this is reflected in the increased number of people wishing to fish for eels, the level of catches and the prices being paid for eels. I am satisfied that there is considerable scope for development of this industry both in terms of increased catches and increased added value through processing and marketing.

The development of the eel fishing industry was considered by the Department in the context of preparing its input to the National Plan and its potential identified. Any development projects submitted for Structural Funding will be considered on their merits.

173. Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for the Marine the number of eel fishing licences which are granted in this country; and the areas to which each of these licences relate.

[1920] Minister for the Marine (Mr. Andrews): The number of eel licences issued in 1992 and the Fishery Board areas to which they relate are as follows:

Western

62 licences

Southern

26 licences

North Western

16 licences

Northern

42 licences

Eastern

47 licences

Shannon

114 licences

South Western

2 licences