Closure of fish farms ‘on hold’ following pressure from anglers and Sinn Fein - Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that plans to close inland fish farms in Mayo, Westmeath and Cork are ‘on hold’ following intense pressure on the Government from anglers and Sinn Féin.
Matt Carthy said:
“Plans by Inland Fisheries Ireland - announced last week - to phase out its fish farming operations in Counties Mayo, Westmeath, Tipperary, and Cork, had deeply angered anglers and those involved in the rural tourist industry.
“These fish farms produce trout hatchlings, used to stock rivers and lakes across the state. The supply of hatchlings is essential for the conservation of the species in our waterways.
“Angling is an increasingly popular sport in Ireland and abroad, and it is a major draw for tourists from across Europe and beyond. It is estimated that angling tourism generates a dividend of almost €1 Billion.
“This sector depends on maintaining healthy, sustainable fish stocks. Fish farms, such as the four the IFI had proposed closing, are essential to keeping our rivers and lakes well stocked.
“Earlier this week, my colleague Liadh Ní Riada MEP and I sought an urgent meeting with the IFI to impress upon them the importance of keeping these fish farms operational.
“Today, Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Agriculture and Fisheries Martin Ferris TD met with Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh on this issue.
“I am happy to receive a report from Deputy Ferris that at this meeting the Minister confirmed that any proposed fish farm closures have been put on hold pending a full consultation process with all stakeholders.
“This is welcome news for anglers, for those involved in tourism and for rural Ireland in general.”