A DECISION on whether Castlemaine Harbour will be reopened to licensed commercial wild salmon fishing will be made as a matter of urgency, according to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
The department has confirmed that 25 submissions were made regarding the proposal to re-open the fishery during a 30-day public consultation process which ended on June 17 last. The submissions are now being considered and a submission will be made to Minister Pat Rabbitte as soon as possible.
The move to re-open commercial salmon fishing has been welcomed by local fishermen but angling and conservation groups are strongly oppossed. The Kerry Angler's Federation, Salmon Watch Ireland and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund have all made submissions opposing the plan.
Guy Buxton of the Kerry Anglers' Federation said, "reopening of the fishery could not be justified on environmental, scientific, economic or legal grounds".