The Minister for the Marine, Dr. Michael Woods is to meet representatives of almost 30,000 trout and salmon anglers in Dublin this afternoon in a move aimed at avoiding a major street protest over new legislation. The Government's new fisheries bill goes before the Dáil for its second reading, on Thursday, but Dr Woods is already facing claims that some of the measures it contains will be more contentious that the controversial rod licence laws of the 1980s.
The fishermen are opposed to plans to change the structure of co-operatives set up at eight locations around the country after the rod licence dispute. They claim that representatives normally elected by them will be appointed by the Minister in future. Dr Woods claims the changes emerged from a review that was carried out by a group that included the trout anglers, but he says that he is prepared to consider amendments to the bill.