Urgent need to update angling law – Beggs

Published on Tuesday 21 February 2012 10:51

East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs has raised the issue of salmon conservation at Stormont by querying the practice of issuing licences for drift nets in coastal waters.

Mr Beggs said: “One of the major issues raised at the event by angler groups was the continued use of bag nets in coastal waters – a practice supposedly banned by the UN and European Union Directives. From questions I have placed with the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure I am surprised and concerned to learn that licences for bag nets in coastal waters continue to be issued.

“The Department licenced two bag nets for salmon fishing in coastal waters around Northern Ireland last year. These nets are non-selective and damaging to population numbers for the North Atlantic Salmon. They affect rivers right down the East Antrim shoreline including the River Dun and the Glenarm River.

“The Fisheries Act in Northern Ireland dates back to 1966 and there is an urgent need to update the law, not least to avoid the risk of EU fines being imposed on the Department and ultimately the taxpayer.”

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