Dáil Éireann - Volume 538 - 14 June, 2001

Written Answers. - Salmon Management Policy.

26. Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the number of wild salmon that have been recorded passing through the fish counter at the Leixlip dam on the River Liffey in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14879/01]

30. Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the number of drift net licences or other licences to catch wild salmon, other than salmon angling licences, which have been issued to fishermen to operate in the River Liffey estuary; the number of salmon reported to be landed by those operators in each season from 1990 onwards; if he will consider ending the licensing of these operators in view of the precarious position of the wild salmon stock returning to the River Liffey; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14880/01]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Fahey): I propose to take Questions Nos. 26 and 30 together.

Under the Fisheries Acts, 1959 to 2000 the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board has responsibility for the issue of commercial salmon fishing licences in the Dublin fishery district which includes the River Liffey estuary. The eastern board informs me that 16 drift nets and 11 draft net licences are available in the district. The board states that approximately 95% of the salmon catch for the Dublin district is taken in the River Liffey estuary and that this catch is largely attributable to 11 individual licence holders. The reported salmon catch for the years 1990 to 2000 in the Dublin district is as follows:

Year

Reported Catch

1990

613

1991

320

[403] Year

Reported Catch

1992

372

1993

102

1994

207

1995

149

1996

186

1997

224

1998

131

1999

124

2000

21

The eastern board informs me that the fish counter at the Leixlip dam is under the control of the ESB and that the movements of fish over the counter are validated by the Marine Institute. The following table shows the recorded escapement at the counter for the years 1990 to 2000:

Year

Recorded escapement

1990

500

1991

614

1992

550

1993

800

1994

1,119

1995

404

1996

541

1997

613

1998

254

1999

403

2000

420

The eastern board confirms that the reported catch for the fishery is very low, however, the escapement data provided by the fish counter confirms that the salmon stock of the river is not under an immediate threat.