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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland
27th April 2010
Coming into operation
1st June 2010
1. These Regulations may be cited as the Eel Fishing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 and shall come into operation on 1st June 2010.
2. In these Regulations—
“Lough Neagh” does not include tributaries and branches thereof;
“licensed eel fisher” means a person holding a licence from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure authorising the licence-holder to fish for, take and kill eels by means of draft net or long line or at an eel weir and, in relation to the grading of eels only, includes the agent of the licence-holder previously authorised in writing by the licence-holder for that purpose;
“undersized eels” means eels of a length less than 30 centimetres measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail;
“hook” means a hook attached to a fishing line;
“grading” means the process of sorting eels by length or weight.
3. Subject to regulations 4 and 5, a person shall not use a fishing engine of any description for the purpose of fishing for, taking or killing eels.
4.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), regulation 3 does not apply to the use of any long line or draft net in Lough Neagh upstream of the drainage flood gates at Toomebridge.
(2) A person shall not use on any long line a hook the shank of which is less than 23 millimetres in length and the gape of which, that is to say, the distance between the point and the shank, is less than 7.75 millimetres.
5. Regulation 3 does not apply to the use of any fishing engine which is erected or hung in the existing eel weir at—
(b)Upper Row, Portna; or
(c)Lower Row, Portna.
6.—(1) A person shall not wilfully fish for, take or kill undersized eels.
(2) Subject to paragraph (3), a person shall not land or have in their possession or control any undersized eels.
(3) Paragraph (2) does not apply to a licensed eel fisher who lands or has in his possession or control any undersized eels for the purpose of grading provided the eels are graded immediately they are landed and the undersized eels are then immediately returned to the waters from which they were taken without any avoidable injury.
7. The annual close season for the taking of eels by means of fishing engines which are erected or hung in fishing weirs or are fixed engines (other than long lines) shall be the period from the last day in February in any year to 31st May in that year.
8. Each keep box or other container used for the holding of eels in a lake or river shall be clearly marked in letters or figures not less than 12 millimetres in height with the name and address of, or the number of the licence held by the owner of the box or container.
9.—(1) The Fisheries Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (4) are amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).
(2) In regulation 2(1) (interpretation) —
(a)in the definition of “coarse fishing rod licence” omit “eels and”;
(b)in the definition of “concessionary season fishing rod licence” omit “eels and”;
(c)in the definition of “game fishing rod licence” for “ salmon, freshwater fish and eels” substitute “salmon and freshwater fish”;
(d)in the definition of “ juvenile season fishing rod licence” omit “eels and”.
(3) In regulation 4 (general) —
(a)in paragraph (1)(a) for “salmon, freshwater fish and eels” substitute “salmon and freshwater fish”;
(b)in paragraph (1)(b) omit “eels and”.
10. The Eel Fishing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1979 (5), the Eel Fishing (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982 (6) and the Eel Fishing (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994 (7) are revoked.
(This note is not part of the Regulations)
These regulations revoke the Eel Fishing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1979 and remake them to implement the Eel Management Plans prepared by the Department and approved by the European Commission under Council Regulation (EC) No 1100/2007 establishing measures for the recovery of the stock of European eel (O.J. L 248, 22.9.2007, p.17).
1. prohibit the use of any description of fishing engine for the purpose of fishing for eels except long lines and draft nets on Lough Neagh and any fishing engine at the existing eel weirs on the Lower River Bann;
2. prescribe the minimum size of eels which may be taken and provide for the return of undersized eels to the waters from which they were taken after eel catches are graded;
3. prescribe the annual close season for the taking of eels at fishing weirs; and
4. make consequential amendments of the Fisheries Regulations (NI) 2003 (formerly Byelaws).
Established by Article 3(1)(b) of the Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, S.I. 1999/283 (N.I. 1)
S.R. 1999 No. 481 Article 3 and Schedule 1. Functions formerly exercisable by the Fisheries Conservancy Board for Northern Ireland under the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 were transferred to the Department by section 1 of the Public Authorities (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009 (c.3 (N.I.))
S.R. 2003 No. 525 as amended by S.R. 2004 No. 504, S.R. 2005 No. 548, S.R. 2006 No. 517, S.R. 2007 No. 471, S.R. 2008 No.318 and S.R. 2008 No. 475. By virtue of section 1(3)(b) of, and paragraph 3(1)(c) of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Public Authorities (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009 references to “byelaws” in the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 are now to “regulations”.
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