Displaying items by tag: legislation
#Registration - Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has surprised Ireland's sailing and boating community by announcing the passing of a Vessels Registration Bill as a priority for 2013.
The proposed legislation is among five transport bills included in the minister's priorities for the year ahead, as published by his department yesterday.
Stakeholders are currently awaiting confirmation from the minister as to the contents and scope of the bill, which would be put forward for public consultation before being published at some point this year.
Legislation for the registration of vessels as been in drafting stages for a number of years, and submissions have been received by previous Governments relating to areas the bill would likely cover such as insurance, VAT avoidance and identification of vessels for search and rescue purposes.
According to a source close to Afloat.ie, among the proposals for the bill is that any vessel entering UK and Ireland waters must inform the coastguard of the names of their passengers and the port of arrival.
"Without boat registration, that is a near impossible task to manage," said the source.
Almost all other EU countries have boat registration legislation except for the UK and Ireland – and pressure is being applied in Britain to bring such registration into law through the UK Border Agency.
Among the stakeholders broadly in favour of vessel registration is the Irish Marine Federation (IMF), which has long called for a mandatory State scheme for identifying recreational vessels in Ireland.
At present all registration of vessels of all sizes, from small sailing boats to container ships, is conducted under the Register of Shipping Act 1955.
#ANGLING - Minister for Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd has confirmed that there is no proposal for the extension of the salmon draft netting season.
In response to concerns expressed by the angling community and highlighted by Derek Evans in The Irish Times last week, Minister O’Dowd emphasised that conservation and management of salmon and sea trout is key to protecting our valuable natural resources.
“Recent reports that the commercial season will be extended in certain rivers are untrue and I can confirm that for the 2012 season, the commercial fishing season remains as it was in all areas, with the River Suir still on a reduced season for snap fishing," said the minister.
"I am aware that confusion can arise due to the necessary extent of regulations in place. However, I am not considering any proposal for the extension of the commercial season."
The minister reminded that Inland Fisheries Ireland is the body that enforces Ireland's "extensive" fisheries legislation.
"IFI has offices throughout the country where advice can be sought. There is also a comprehensive and regularly updated website and information is also disseminated on Facebook and Twitter," he said.
Meanwhile, IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said that the legislative code is regularly updated to ensure that Ireland's fisheries continue to be protected on the basis of information from IFI’s Standing Scientific Committee and IFI management advice.
“Only rivers with exploitable surpluses are open during the spring season and no fishery is open for commercial exploitation during this time," said Dr Byrne. "Fisheries that are classified catch-and-release or closed for salmon are now protected under bye-law 897 which prohibits the use of worms and the use of any fish hooks other than single barbless hooks.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - A meeting of the Northern Ireland Marine Task Force (NIMTF) last week brought together interests from across the spectrum to discuss the new Marine Bill and ensure it will "deliver for all sea users".
The workshop at Castle Espie on Strangford Lough last Thursday 22 March saw politicians sit down with environmentalists, fishermen and wind farm developers, and engage with those responsible for drafting the proposed legislation.
According to a statement from the Ulster Wildlife Trust, which is a member of the NIMTF, the bill "provides for the creation of a network of marine protected areas to protect marine wildlife" as well as a roadmap for a more joined-up approach to the North's marine resources.
NIMTF spokesperson Ricky Devlin said: "We now need to ensure that [the bill] addresses the full range of environmental, recreational and commercial interests such as fishing, diving, electricity generation and aquaculture."
A full report of the meeting will be available shortly from www.nimtf.org
#INLAND WATERWAYS - Minister for Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte has announced that a settlement has been reached ahead of a court case over the removal of Clondulane Weir on the River Blackwater in Co Cork.
Lismore Realty Ltd and Lismore Trust Ltd has brought judicial review proceedings against the then minister over the department's direction in 2006 requiring the removal of the weird to allow for the free passage of migratory fish in line with national and European legislation.
The removal of the weir will now proceed folliwng the settlement, which terms that the parties will bear their own costs, and Lismore Realty Ltd and Lismore Trust Ltd will pay all reasonable costs of the removal of the weir, set to take place next summer.
Inland Fisheries Ireland will act as agents of the minister and manage the removal of the structure so as to minimise the impact on flora, fauna and habitat in the river, which is in a designated Special Area of Conservation.
Proposals to create more than 100 conservation zones to protect marine wildlife and plantlife in England and Wales have been unveiled.
BBC News reports that the proposals - covering waters around the English and Welsh coastlines, including parts of the Irish Sea - will be assessed by a panel of experts before a final decision by the British government, expected some time in 2012.
The Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) will have differing levels of protection, depending on what regulators choose to prohibit and when under the provisions of the 2009 UK Marine Bill. This is to allow flexibility for activities such as fishing and recreation.
Should all proposals be approved, it would place more than a quarter of all English waters under some form of protection.
It is also hoped that this is the first step towards a network of protected waters across the whole of the UK.
Proposals for protection zones in Scotland are expected to come forward next year. Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland legisative assembly has yet to pass its own marine protection laws.
BBC News has more on the story HERE.