#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is now explicitly empowered to bring and prosecute summary proceedings for fisheries offences as the Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2017 comes into force, following the signing of a commencement order by Environment Minister Denis Naughten yesterday (Tuesday 11 July).
The revised legislation resolves an issue over IFI’s power to prosecute, which arose in February 2017 and resulted in required legal amendments.
Earlier this year IFI was informed by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment that it had received legal advice to the effect that IFI did not have explicit power to prosecute offences under the Fisheries Acts.
However, the legislation commenced yesterday confirms that IFI has the power to resume legal action for offences under the Fisheries Acts.
In the interim period since the legislative issue came to light, fisheries officers continued to work as normal, and any offences detected during the past six-month period will now be able to proceed to prosecution in the normal manner.
“We welcome the commencement of this new legislation, which safeguards our ability to prosecute, and as a result, protects our fisheries resource which is of significant environmental, social and economic value to our country,” said IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne.
“This means that our staff can continue to ensure that this valuable natural resource is protected, conserved, managed and developed for the communities it serves across Ireland.”