Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D., yesterday signed a commencement order appointing the 11 July 2017 as the day on which the Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2017 (No. 16 of 2017) comes into operation. The Act was signed by the President on 6 July 2017.
The Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2017 confers an explicit power on Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) to bring and prosecute summary proceedings for inland fisheries offences. This Act resolves an issue concerning IFI's power to prosecute that came to light in February 2017. It ensures that IFI is fully empowered to enforce the Inland Fisheries Acts and to protect and conserve Ireland's valuable inland fisheries and sea-angling resource.
Minister Naughten said: "I am extremely pleased to commence the Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2017 today. The early passage of this Act into law safeguards our valuable inland fisheries resources and ensures that there is no period during which offences under the Inland Fisheries Acts can be committed with impunity. IFI is once again empowered to pursue prosecutions for offences under the Inland Fisheries Acts."
IFI is the state agency responsible for the protection, conservation, development and promotion of Ireland's inland fisheries and sea angling resources.
Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Seán Kyne said "Having taken the Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Bill through both the Dáil and Seanad I am delighted to see this law being signed today. This law ensures that Inland Fisheries Ireland has clear powers to act in cases of river pollution and to combat poaching of fish stocks. As such it will help Inland Fisheries Ireland carry out one of its core responsibilities of protecting, managing and conserving over 74,000 kilometres of rivers and streams and 128,000 hectares of lakes across the country."
NOTE FOR EDITORS
The Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2017 amends the Inland Fisheries Act 2010 to provide for Inland Fisheries Ireland to have power to bring summary proceedings for certain offences; to provide for certain penalties; and to provide for related matters.
IFI was formed on 1 July 2010 following the amalgamation of the Central Fisheries Board and the seven Regional Fisheries Boards into a single agency. Ireland has over 74,000 kilometres of rivers and streams and 128,000 hectares of lakes all of which fall under the jurisdiction of IFI. IFI's jurisdiction also extends to the 12 mile limit around the coast.