Mr. Sean Kyne T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2016. These will come into effect from Sunday 1 January 2017.
Minister Kyne said “In all, 73 rivers will open for angling activity in 2017 and this will provide opportunities for all to share this important natural resource on a sustainable basis. 46 of these rivers will be fully open with a further 27 for angling on a “catch & release” basis. ”
The Minister has also directed that Inland Fisheries Ireland IFI carry out a full review of the Catch and Release element of fisheries management policy ahead of the 2018 season.
He said, “Ireland has been managing fisheries in accordance with the scientific advice since 2006 and that will continue. However, I am keen that after 10 years, the catch and release element of the policy is examined to explore whether changes might actually benefit the management of our fisheries”
Minister Kyne received management advice in relation to over 140 genetically individual wild salmon stocks in Ireland IFI, in advance of setting out the legislation for 2017. This advice was also made available as part of a public consultation process. This was based on the scientific assessment of the current status of all stocks carried out by the independent Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon. This committee comprises scientists from IFI, an Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Marine Institute, the Loughs Agency, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI- Northern Ireland) other State bodies and third level institutions.
Over 90 submissions were considered as part of the public consultation process. Based on this the Minister has introduced conservation measures for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery in 2017.
Management advise based on the Independent Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon (SSCS) assessment of rivers/estuaries/harbours is that:-
· 46 rivers should be open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers;
· 27 rivers should be classified as open for “catch and release” angling; and
· 73 rivers should be closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest.