Inland Fisheries Act 2010

7.

Functions of IFI.

7.— (1) The principal function of IFI is the protection, management and conservation of the inland fisheries resource.

(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1) the general functions of IFI are to—

( a) promote, support, facilitate and advise the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, marketing, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling,

( b) develop and advise the Minister on policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries including sea angling, and

( c) ensure implementation and delivery of policy and strategies developed under subsection (b) as agreed with the Minister.

(3) Subject to subsection (1), IFI shall—

( a) subject to this Act, protect the inland fisheries resource and generally enforce the Inland Fisheries Acts,

( b) ensure that any fishery, hatchery or fish farm in the possession or occupation of IFI is managed, conserved, protected, developed and improved, or otherwise dealt with, in accordance with the corporate plan prepared in accordance with section 41 ,

( c) in accordance with such corporate plan, promote and encourage the management, conservation, protection, development and improvement of the fisheries which are not in its possession or occupation,

( d) ensure that any oyster or other mollusc fishery is protected in accordance with such direction of the Minister as relates to a fishery of that kind,

( e) encourage and develop angling for salmon, trout, coarse fish and sea fish and, for the purposes of any or all of those kinds of angling, provide such facilities and amenities, if any, as may be required,

( f) encourage, promote, organise and co-ordinate together with the inland fisheries owners, bodies and organisations, the voluntary development of inland fisheries catchment management plans and for that purpose have regard to the distinctive circumstances which pertain in each of the catchment systems and consult with and involve local authorities and other interested bodies and organisations,

( g) in the performance of its functions have regard to the requirements of the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1997 ( S.I. No. 94 of 1997) and the need for the sustainable development of the inland fisheries resource (including the conservation of fish and other species of fauna and flora habitats and the biodiversity of inland water ecosystems),

( h) as far as possible, ensure that its activities are carried out so as to protect the national heritage (within the meaning of the Heritage Act 1995),

( i) ensure the effective and efficient deployment of resources, performance of functions, drawing up of estimates and the provision of services,

( j) administer such schemes, grants and other financial facilities requiring the disbursement of European Union and such other funds as may from time to time be authorised by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance, and

( k) support angling promotion and marketing activities and co-operate with relevant State agencies and such sectoral interests as IFI considers relevant in developing international promotion and marketing strategies and activities in relation to game, coarse and sea tourism angling.

(4) ( a) IFI shall establish and manage a forum (“national inland fisheries forum”) to facilitate stakeholder input into policy formulation. This forum shall consist of broad representation across such stakeholders of the inland fisheries sector as IFI considers relevant.

( b) The terms of reference, including membership, of the forum established under subsection (4)(a) will be set by IFI with the agreement of the Minister.

(5) ( a) IFI may establish a Standing Scientific Committee to advise and assist it on all technical and scientific matters relating to the management of the State’s inland fisheries resource.

( b) The terms of reference including the composition and membership of a Committee established under paragraph (a) will be set by IFI with the agreement of the Minister.

(6) IFI may provide such services (including education and training courses or facilities for training or instruction) for the management, conservation, protection, development and improvement of fisheries or such other matters relating to fisheries as it thinks fit and charge such fees in respect of the provision of those services (other than those provided by the Minister), as it thinks fit.

(7) ( a) IFI may, in relation to an inland fishery, carry out such research or experimental work as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions but this paragraph shall not be construed as enabling IFI to carry out research or experimental work on or in relation to any species of sea fish (within the meaning of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006), other than research similar or analogous to research in relation to sea fish being carried on by the Central Board immediately before the establishment day.

( b) In the carrying out of work under subsection (7)(a) IFI shall, as appropriate, co-operate and co-ordinate with the Marine Institute and other agencies or persons that IFI considers relevant.

( c) IFI shall, unless it considers that it is not in the public interest to do so, make the results of any research carried out in accordance with subsection (7) (a) available, within 6 months after it has been fully completed.

(8) IFI may, following consultation with the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, engage in relevant activities which would protect or conserve wildlife (within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Wildlife Act 1976).

(9) For the purpose of performing its functions under this Act, but subject to the directions, if any, of the Minister, IFI may enter into such partnership or other arrangements with such persons or bodies as it thinks fit.

(10) The power under Part V of the Principal Act of striking rates on fisheries, in so far as before the commencement of this section it was exercisable by a regional board, and the powers under that Part to amend, collect and recover such a rate are, on the establishment day assigned to IFI.

(11) The powers under the Principal Act to issue licences, for fishing for salmon or eels and to issue oyster fishing licences which, immediately before the establishment day, were exercisable by a regional board shall, on and from the establishment day, be exercisable by IFI. Duties payable as regards licences issued under the Principal Act shall be paid to IFI.

(12) The Minister may, if he or she thinks fit, authorise IFI to engage in activities relating to the processing and marketing of such species of fish as are specified in the authorisation.

(13) The Minister may by order assign to IFI such functions relating to fisheries (being functions additional to those assigned by this Act) as the Minister thinks fit.