Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1999

Functions of Central Board.

5.—The Act of 1980 is hereby amended by the substitution of the following for section 8:

“8.—(1) The general functions of the Central Board are to promote, support, facilitate, and co-ordinate where necessary, and to advise the Minister on policy relating to, the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries and the efficient and effective performance by the regional boards of their functions under this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generally of subsection (1), the Central Board shall—

(a) provide and undertake such co-ordination, specialist and support services to or for regional boards as are necessary for the efficient performance by the regional boards of their functions,

(b) co-ordinate and consult with the regional boards on the preparation and regular review of national inland fisheries development plans, incorporating regional inland fisheries development plans, and submit such plans to the Minister for the Minister's consideration in such form and at such intervals as the Minister may require,

(c) 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,

(d) support, and co-ordinate where necessary, the angling promotion and marketing activities of the regional boards in respect of their fishery regions, and co-operate and co-ordinate with Bord Fáilte in developing international promotion and marketing strategies and activities in relation to game, coarse and sea tourism angling,

(e) undertake the efficient and effective management, conservation, protection, development and improvement of any fishery, hatchery or fish farm in its possession or occupation in accordance with the directions, if any, of the Minister, and

(f) in the performance of its functions, have regard to 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) and 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 .

(3) The Central Board may provide education courses or facilities for training or otherwise instructing persons in matters relating to the management, conservation, protection, development or improvement of fisheries and charge such fees for the provision of those courses or facilities as it thinks fit.

(4) The Central Board may provide such services for the management, conservation, protection, development, improvement or promotion of fisheries or matters relating to fisheries, and charge such fees in respect of the provision of those services (other than those provided for a regional board or the Minister), as it thinks fit.

(5) (a) The Central Board 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 the Board to carry out research or experimental work on or in relation to any species of sea-fish, within the meaning of Part XIII of the Principal Act, other than research similar or analogous to research in relation to sea-fish being carried on by the Central Board immediately before the commencement of section 5 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1999.

(b) In the carrying out of work under paragraph (a) of this subsection the Central Board shall, as appropriate, co-operate with any regional board in whose region the fishery is situated and shall also co-operate and co-ordinate, as appropriate, with the Marine Institute.

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

(7) The Central Board may make recommendations to the Minister as to the exercise by the Minister of the powers conferred on the Minister by section 29 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1962 , the levels of fishery rates and fishery licence duties payable under the Fisheries Acts, 1959 to 1999.

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

(9) The Central Board shall have regard to the particular role and contribution of angling clubs and associations in the sustainable management and development to the public benefit of State, public and other inland fisheries.”.