Panel 1 Environmental Experts
IFI does not restrict the use of environmental experts to those within the Consultant’s Panel. However, it should be noted that there are specific requirements and expertise needed for the environmental experts used for instream/riparian works.
All environmental surveys and reporting provided to IFI in relation to fisheries works will be independently assessed by an IFI appointed “Environmental Expert”. Incomplete or insufficient environmental surveys or reporting could result in substantial revision or works (at the cost of the Framework Client or the consultant) and lengthy delays to the commencement of a project. Therefore, it is essential that when Framework Clients and IFI staff select environmental consultants with the expertise necessary to carry out the works and are able to comply with the appropriate guideline documentation when carrying out environmental surveys and reporting elements for fisheries projects.
When a project is initially being proposed to IFI, it is recommended that the scoping of the requirements of the Environmental Expert are discussed with IFI. This will assist in the tendering stage for environmental surveys and reporting required and specify the expertise needed to ensure that the correct environmental consultants are hired to carry out the works. However, it should be noted that this may not specify all the survey and reporting elements needed especially those that may only come to light during the environmental assessments.
“The Birds and Habitats Directives set out various procedures and obligations in relation to nature conservation management in Member States in general, and of the Natura 2000 sites and their habitats and species.”(NPWS) Specific Guidance relating to Appropriate Assessment has been prepared by NPWS (https://www.npws.ie/protected-sites/guidance-appropriate-assessment-planning-authorities ). All reporting to IFI in relation to Appropriate Assessment needs to comply with official guidance documentation. However, it should be noted that watercourses are ecological corridors for many species and habitats listed under the Annexes of these Directives. As a result fisheries and in-stream projects have the potential for downstream or catchment wide impacts beyond 15km. Consequently the following template document has been prepared to ensure that all Stage I-Appropriate Assessment Screening reporting for fisheries projects are sufficiently detailed and take into specific requirements of watercourses (AA Screening Template). The content of this template document should also be taken into account when preparing Stage II- Natura Impact Statements in compliance with the above NPWS guidance in the vicinity of watercourses. In addition, OPW guidance in relation to screening of Natura 2000 sites can be found on the OPW website at this link "Screening of Natura 2000 sites for Impacts of Arterial Drainage Maintentance Operations"
Environmental Impact Assessment
For all relevant projects the relevant guidance documentation should be followed. It should be noted that all Environmental Impact Assessment Reports submitted to the EPA or other consent authorities on or after the 16th May 2017 (link - Download "Implementation of Directive 2014/52/EU on the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (EIA Directive)" ) must meet the requirements of Directive 2014/52/EU. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment in the UK and Ireland (CIEEM, 2016)
Best Practice Guides
A series of best practice guides have been prepared and relevant guides should be consulted when works are proposed. These include:
- Mulkear Life (link to laymans report http://mulkearlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LaymansReport_Final_190515.pdf )
Best practice guides for Sustainable Water Management (http://mulkearlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MulkearLIFE_BP_WATER-FINAL-90515.pdf ),
Enhancement of Atlantic Salmon Population and Biodiversity Considerations of Habitat Restoration in SAC’s http://mulkearlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MulkearLIFE_BP_Salmon_FINAL180515_.pdf
Management Guidelines for European Otter (Lutra lutra) in SACs http://mulkearlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MulkearLIFE_BP_OTTERS-FINAL.pdf
Management of Upstream Passage for Adult Sea Lamprey in SACs http://mulkearlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MulkearLIFE_BP_Lamprey-FINAL.pdf
Management of Riparian Zones in SACs with particular reference to the management of Non-Native Invasive Plant Species http://mulkearlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MulkearLIFE_BP_RIPARIAN-FINAL.pdf
- Channels & Challenges, enhancing salmonid rivers
O’Grady, M.F., 2006. Channels & Challenges. Enhancing Salmonid Rivers.
Irish Freshwater Fisheries Ecology & Management Series: Number 4,
Central Fisheries Board, Dublin, Ireland.
pdf Channels & Challenges- enhancing salmonid rivers (8.00 MB)
- Quantification of the Freshwater Salmon Habitat Asset in Ireland using data interpreted in a GIS platform
McGinnity, P.,Gargan, P.,Roche, W., Mills, P. & McGarrigle, M. 2003. Quantification of the Freshwater Salmon Habitat Asset in Ireland using data interpreted in a GIS platform. Irish Freshwater Fisheries, Ecology and Management Series: Number 3, Central Fisheries Board, Dublin, Ireland.
- The OPW have prepared a Series of Ecological Assessments on Arterial Drainage Maintenance which provide a useful resource of information relating to aquatic species and the impact of works. This series includes reports on Screening of NATURA 2000 Sites for Impacts of Arterial Drainage Maintenance Operations and separate EcIA’s for Raised Bogs, Atlantic Salmon, Otter, Floating River Vegetation, Riparian Birds, Fresh Water Pearl Mussel, Turloughs, Lamprey Species, White-clawed Crayfish, Fens, Mires & Whorl Snails and Kingfisher Alcedo atthis & other riparian birds. https://www.opw.ie/en/flood-risk-management/operations/environmentalactivities/seriesofecologicalimpactassessments/ .
The OPW also has The Office of Public Works Arterial Drainage Maintenance Service Environmental Management Protocols & Standard Operating Procedures https://www.fisheriesireland.ie/documents/179-opw-environmental-management-protcols-and-sops-04-11-1/file.html
- Requirements for the Protection of Fisheries Habitat during Construction and Development Works at River Sites https://www.fisheriesireland.ie/documents/624-guidelines-on-protection-of-fisheries-during-construction-works-in-and-adjacent-to-waters/file.html
- A guide to the protection of watercourses through the use of bufferzones,
Sustainable Drainage Systems, instream rehabilitation and recreational planning https://www.fisheriesireland.ie/documents/179-opw-environmental-management-protcols-and-sops-04-11-1/file.html
- Native Riparian Woodlands –A Guide to Identification, Design, Establishment and Management http://www.woodlandsofireland.com/sites/default/files/No.%204%20-%20Riparian%20Woodlands.pdf
- Guidelines for the Crossing of Watercourses during the Construction of National Road Schemes