DELEGATES at the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis in Dublin at the weekend passed a motion calling for the phased re-opening of traditional salmon drift netting fisheries, which was tabled by Dingle man Breandán Fitzgerald.
In 2007 the Fianna Fáil/ Green Party coaltion introduced a ban on drift-netting for salmon at sea in an effort to protect plunging salmon stocks. The ban was strongly supported by river anglers but met with fierce resistance from fishing communities. Since the imposition of the ban, local fishing industries have all but ceased to exist in communities such as Ballydavid in West Kerry and anglers continue to raise concerns about salmon stocks in rivers.
Mr Fitzgerald, who ran for the party in the last council elections, asked his fellow delegates at the Árd Fheis to support the motion in an effort to give fishing communities in areas such as West Kerry "some hope again".
"Deputy Eamonn O'Cuiv has asked that I work with the parlimentary party and more specifically our spokespeople on fisheries to develop a coherent and viable policy that will enable this motion to become a reality," Mr Fitzgerald said.