18th December

Ireland criticised for insufficient climate policy

Ireland is failing to address climate change and is likely to miss its EU 2020 target 'by a wide margin' according to the European Commission's Country Report Ireland 2015.

Reacting to the report, Ciara Kirrane, coordinator of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition of 28 civil society oganisations, says the fact that Ireland is "off track" is not news to anyone observing our climate performance.

globe

"But the criticisms should be a wake-up call to Minister Kelly and the government," she said.

Read more: Ireland criticised for insufficient climate policy

Is Freedom of Information really what it says it is?

Inshore Ireland masthead

In our December issue we chronicled IFA Aquaculture’s efforts through Freedom of Information (2009 and 2013)) and Public Access to Environmental Information (2013) to procure the full and final report of the SUMBAWS Project which was published in 2005.

The representative body of Ireland’s aquaculture sector had sought this scientific report because parts of it were quoted in a formal Complaint to the EU Commission in February 2009 by the environmental group Salmon Watch Ireland on the potential impact of sea lice on wild salmon stocks in Ireland.

Read more: Is Freedom of Information really what it says it is?

Eighty-three rivers open for salmon angling in 2015

Joe McHugh T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2015. These came into effect on Thursday 1 January.

Maam River

 The Maam River - one of Lough Corrib's head streams                                                Photo Gillian Mills

“Fifty-five rivers will be fully open and will provide opportunities for all to share this important natural resource on a sustainable basis. A further 28 will be open for angling on a 'catch & release” basis', he said.

Read more: Eighty-three rivers open for salmon angling in 2015

Budget 2015: environmental bodies 'cautiously' welcome marine measures

Cautiously welcoming the marine measures of Budget 2015 (see below), the Environmental Pillar warns that increase in the 'blue economy' must not come at the cost of small fishermen and the environment.

It claims the proposed marine tax review was an opportunity to focus tax support on smaller specialist fishing vessels that could fish sustainably and provide local employment.

Roundstone final

Rural villages such as Roundstone, Co Galway, depend largely on inshore fishing and marine tourism. Photo Gillian Mills

"By targeting tax breaks on small vessels, jobs can also be provided in high quality, high value, fish processing. Artisanal industries that add value to locally caught fish will have an added benefit by boosting Ireland's clean green image, which will also boost our tourism potential, remarked Karin Dubsky.

Read more: Budget 2015: environmental bodies 'cautiously' welcome marine measures

Angling development funding for the Midlands

Angling clubs and organisations in the Midlands are set to benefit from a €50,000 Midland Fisheries Fund (MFF), introduced by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) earlier this year and announced by Joe McHugh, Minister of State with special responsibility for gaeltacht affairs and natural resources.

 

IFI angling-funds

Mary Harkin, Rory's Fishing Tackle Shop, Dublin, with a 6lb trout caught and released on Lough Sheelin

The fund comprises angler contributions set aside from the Permit income received by the IFI in the Midland Fisheries Group permit area. Applications were received from various clubs and organisations in June in the Westmeath, Roscommon, Offaly and Cavan county catchments.

Read more: Angling development funding for the Midlands

Merger of State agencies EPA and RPII

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) merged today (01/08/14). RPII staff transfer to the EPA and RPII functions will now be carried out by a newly established Office of Radiological Protection within the EPA.

Lough-Dan

 Lough Dan, Co Wicklow. Photo Gillian Mills

The merger brings together the staff of the EPA and RPII to create a strong scientific organisation that will continue to  promote environmental and radiological protection.

Read more: Merger of State agencies EPA and RPII

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