Ulster Unionist Culture Arts and Leisure spokesman Robin Swann MLA has expressed his disappointment that the Minister cancelled her appearance in the Assembly to make her statement on the conservation of salmon.
“It is clear that the Minister is coming under intense pressure from the commercial nets men about the way forward and it is regrettable that she chose not to come to the Assembly to make her statement where elected representatives could question her on the way ahead. The recent report, on the state of salmon in the Foyle system rivers confirms the perilous state of the salmon population.
At a time when robust action is required the Minister has become embroiled in a debate over whether nets men or anglers take more salmon. The Minister must be very clear, in the foreseeable future there is no possibility of anyone killing salmon until the population becomes sustainable and that day is very far off.
The Minister must not dither on this issue and must come to the Assembly chamber and give clear unambiguous leadership on the measures to be introduced to protect this iconic species.”