Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 04 October 2015
In attendance for public evidence session at 11:00am: North Atlantic Salmon Fund (Northern Ireland) - Dr P Johnston, Mr J McBride and Mr O Vigfusson
The meeting opened, in private, at 10.25am
1. Chairperson's business
- The Chairperson highlighted the erroneous impression given in an article in the Belfast Telegraph this week regarding the public/private split of Committee meetings.Agreed - that the Chairperson would rectify this position with the press.
Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 10:28
- The Chairperson reminded members of the rules of the Senate Chamber and the use of mobile phones.
- The Chairperson reminded members about the press lunch in the Long Gallery at 1pm today.
- The Chairperson reminded members of the visit to Carnroe on 6 October leaving at 10:30am.
- The Chairperson gave a quick update on the visit to the Inland Waterways for the benefit of members who did not attend. He raised the issue of follow-on to the visit and in particular the Ulster Canal restoration project.
Agreed - that the Committee should write to the Minister indicating its support for this worthwhile project which has a cross-border element and passes through small remote towns and villages.
Agreed - that the Committee should write to the Inland Waterways Association inviting them to organise a function in the Long Gallery which the Committee would sponsor.
Agreed - that Mr Davis should make enquiries about obtaining invitations for Committee members to attend a dinner (associated with a major conference on Ulster Waterways) in the Lisburn Council area on the evening of Thursday 19 October.
- The Committee discussed what aspects of 'best practise' they might like to have included in the visit to Galway later in October.
Agreed - that the Western Regional Fisheries Board should advise the Committee on how they progressed all aspects of 'best practise' in the management of fisheries, rivers and lakes.
Apologies were received from Mr Agnew and Mr McElduff.
3. Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.
4. Matters arising
- Agreed - that the Committee would accept the verbal invitation from ADSEA to visit Strangford Lough but that the visit would take place after the completion of their work on the Inquiry.
- Members were advised that the Research Office had written to a variety of specialists advising them of the Committee's need for an advisor and to check their availability. Members were also advised to submit to the Committee Clerk the CVs of any others that they wished to be considered for appointment.
- Agreed - that the Committee will meet the Joint Committee on Tourism, Sport and Recreation in Dublin on 14 December.
- Agreed - that the Committee would take up the invitation extended by the Ulster Farmers' Union to a commercial fish farm.
The Committee moved into public session at 11:00am
5. Public evidence session - North Atlantic Salmon Fund (Northern Ireland)
North Atlantic Salmon Fund (Northern Ireland) gave oral evidence, in public, to the Committee on its inquiry into Inland Fishing.
Mrs Nelis left the meeting at 11:28am
The Committee moved into private session at 12:00
Mr Wilson left the meeting at 12:02pm
6. Statutory Rule No 248
Agreed - that the Committee accept the Statutory Rule.
Agreed - that the Committee should write to the Foyle Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission asking for fees to be increased annually in line with inflation.
Mr Wilson re-joined the meeting at 12:19pm
7. Fisheries (Amendment) Bill
Agreed -that the Committee would consider issues which arose from the Fishing Inquiry which could be addressed through inclusion as amendments to the Fisheries (Amendment) Bill.
Agreed - that information provided by Research on removal of Crown Immunity would be copied to members.
8. Fishing Inquiry
- The Chairperson reminded members that the 12 October is an all day session and of the need to have a quorum.
- Agreed - that the Committee should write to the Minister voicing its disappointment that neither he nor a senior official could be available to attend the oral evidence session today.
9. Any other business
- Members were advised that a response from the Department had not been received on the issue of its consultation prior to the introduction of Carp to Ballyroney Lake
- Members were advised that budget proposals would hopefully be received on 9 October. These will be copied to members for possible discussion on 17 October when the Corporate Plan is being discussed.
- The Chairperson advised members of an offer he received from the Northern Ireland Film Commission to deliver a presentation to the Committee.
Agreed - that the Committee would accept the invitation but explain that it could not be fitted into the work programme until December.
Agreed - that the Chairperson would represent the Committee at a Prime Cut Productions invitation on Friday 10 November at 8pm.
10. Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 12 October at 10.15am in the Senate Chamber.
The meeting closed at 12:40pm
Mr E ONeill