Displaying items by tag: Salmon
At a sitting of Drogheda District Court on 15th September 2015, Judge William Hamill convicted a track machine owner, Mr Ronan Sheridan of Beshellstown, Garrison, Co Meath, under Section 131 of the 1959 Fisheries Act, for causing extensive damage to the bed of a tributary of the Nanny River in Co Meath. Mr Sheridan was fined €500 and ordered to pay full costs of €1,555.56 to Inland Fisheries Ireland.
In November 2014, Fishery Officer Dr Maureen Byrne observed that Mr Sheridan’s track machine had been used to divert river flows away from the natural course of the channel and permanently re-align 80 metres of the Annesbrook River, which is a tributary of the Nanny River.
The Nanny River supports wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout populations – species which have been the subject of a series of recently introduced conservation and protection measures from Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Dr Maureen Byrne gave evidence outlining details of significant damage that had been caused to the bed of the river, which is a spawning and nursery habitat for Atlantic salmon and sea / brown trout. Mr Sheridan was represented in court and pleaded guilty to the offence.
Commenting on the case, Mr Brian Beckett, Director, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Dublin, said there is a general prohibition under the Fisheries Acts from interfering with and damaging river and stream habitat. He said that Inland Fisheries Ireland continue to seek the assistance and cooperation of landowners as the primary custodians of the natural environment, not to engage in works likely to impact on the fisheries and aquatic environment without prior consultation with them. He acknowledged the many landowners who had and continue to make contact with Inland Fisheries Ireland to ensure that proposed works are undertaken in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland stated, “Destruction of fish habitat is an environmental crime and must be prevented. Such destruction impacts the potential of rivers to contribute to our social and economic wealth. Recreational salmon and sea trout angling is estimated to contribute €210 million to the Irish economy and supports over 3000 jobs. It is imperative that our fish habitat is conserved and protected to ensure the sustainability of this important natural resource.”
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents - 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. This phone line is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species.
A definitive scientific paper, reviewing over 300 scientific publications, has just been published in the prestigious journal Aquaculture Environment Interactions on the effects of sea lice on sea trout stocks. A team of top international scientists from Norway, Scotland and Ireland reviewed all available published studies on the effects of sea lice and have concluded that sea lice have negatively impacted wild sea trout stocks in salmon farming areas in Ireland, Scotland and Norway.
The paper entitled “Effects of salmon lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis on wild sea trout Salmo trutta—a literature review” (https://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/handle/10023/7295) reached its conclusions based on comprehensive studies of the effects of salmon lice from over 300 scientific publications. The project was funded by the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund which provides investment in Norwegian seafood industry-based R&D with the objective of creating added value for the seafood industry.
The study also examined the potential effect of sea lice on salmon and concluded that sea lice have a potential significant and detrimental effect on marine survival of Atlantic salmon with potentially 12-29% fewer salmon spawning in salmon farming areas. These conclusions concur with previously published Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) research on the potential impact of sea lice from marine salmon farms on salmon survival.
The studies reviewed indicate that salmon farming increases the abundance of lice in marine habitats and that sea lice in intensively farmed areas have negatively impacted wild sea trout populations. The effects of sea lice on sea trout are increased marine mortality and reduced marine growth. This new study confirms the evidence collected since the early 1990’s in Ireland regarding the impact of sea lice on wild sea trout stocks, particularly in relation to the collapse of Connemara’s sea trout stocks.
IFI have consistently called for marine salmon farms to maintain sea lice levels close to zero prior to and during the wild sea trout and salmon smolt migration period in spring. IFI have also raised concerns regarding the location of salmon farms in the estuaries of salmon and sea trout rivers.
The Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland welcomed this important publication and commented: “This new scientific review paper confirms the need for very tight regulation of sea lice levels on salmon farms and raises legitimate concerns with regard to the potential impact of new large scale salmon farms proposed along Irelands west coast on salmon and sea trout stocks. Regulators will now need to consider the results of this comprehensive review when making decisions on the sustainability and approval of future marine salmon aquaculture licences and the regulation of sea lice at existing sites so as to ensure no negative impact on salmon and sea trout stocks.”
#Angling - The 2015 Salmon Conservation Fund (SCF) and Midland Fisheries Fund (MFF) are now open for applications, Minister Joe McHugh has announced yesterday (Wednesday 15 April).
In total, €240,000 is available to conserve and develop the inland fisheries resource from funds generated through the sale of salmon licences and Midland Fisheries Area permits.
The schemes administered by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IF) will facilitate clubs, fishery owners, commercial salmon fishers and other organisations to undertake works to improve habitat, stocks, access, invasive species management and angling, under the supervision and direction of IFI.
The works undertaken are important in maintaining and improving capacity within the inland fisheries resource, which is estimated to contribute €755 million annually to the Irish economy.
Announcing the schemes, Minister McHugh said: “I am pleased to be able to support IFI in making these funds available to fisheries interests to allow for ground-up, managed sustainable development of the inland fisheries resources.
"Some wonderful projects have been supported since these funds have been established and I encourage all those interested in fisheries to investigate the possibilities under the various schemes to conserve, develop and promote their local fisheries.”
The Salmon Conservation Scheme has been in existence for eight years and has allocated funding to 184 salmon projects all around Ireland. €200,000 is available for distribution under this scheme in 2015.
The Midland Fisheries Fund, which is now beginning its third year, has seen 17 projects undertaken in the midlands area developing angling resources, supporting scientific research and conserving fisheries habitat. A further €40,000 is available under this scheme for 2015.
Full details and application forms are available on the Midland Fisheries Fund HERE.
#warmlkake – A lake in county Mayo is among a number of lakes around the world that are 'warming' and Irish Marine Scientists are part of a global research project examining the trend.
Data for Lough Feeagh, situated in the Burrishoole catchment in Co. Mayo, forms part of the data, and is one of a small number of lakes worldwide for which long-term temperature data are available.
A temperature recorder on Lough Feeagh was originally installed in 1960, when the Salmon Research Trust of Ireland began investigations into the movement of salmon, trout and eel through the catchment.
The magnitude and uniformity of the worldwide trend remains unclear but to facilitate research on this topic, a global database of summer temperatures for 291 lakes from 1859-2009 has been compiled, complemented by data on local climatic drivers and lake geomorphology.
The paper describing lakes as sentinels of climate change is published in the Journal of Scientific Data, by Nature (http://www.nature.com/sdata/) on the 17th March 2015. Dr Elvira de Eyto, Marine Institute and co author on the paper along with Marine Institute scientists are part of the Global Lake Temperature Collaboration (GLTC), an international group assembled to provide increased access to global lake temperature records.
The GLTC project recognised that a new global database of lake surface temperatures was needed, including not only satellite data, but also "on the ground" measurements from in situ data collection programs. Since its
inception in 2010, the GLTC initiative has grown to a database of 291 lakes and reservoirs worldwide, providing summer-mean lake surface temperatures from 1985-2009, and roughly doubling the amount of data previously available from satellites alone. This new dataset represents the first publicly available global compilation of in situ and satellite-based lake surface temperature data. The GLTC database also provides information on climatic drivers (air temperature, solar radiation, cloud cover), as well as geomorphometric characteristics that may affect lake temperature (latitude, longitude, elevation, lake surface area, maximum depth, mean depth, volume).
This unique, global dataset will offer an invaluable baseline perspective on lake thermal conditions for ongoing and future studies of environmental change. The Marine Institute continues this work, and maintains an extensive environmental monitoring programme in the catchment which is used to record climate and land use changes that may impact fish stocks.
Application forms are available from local IFI offices in Macroom, Limerick, Galway, Ballina and Ballyshannon as listed HERE.
The closing date for receipt of completed applications to the relevant IFI office is 5pm on Monday 23 March. None will be accepted after this date.
Local man Jerry Looney landed the 10-pounder a little over half an hour into the opening of the Long Range stretch in the Killarney Lakes.
Even more remarkable is that the 80-year-old's catch is the first salmon to be reeled in since 2009 in the Kerry area.
And it was followed not long after by a 17lb 10oz specimen landed by gillie Brod Sullivan at Lough Currane.
#Angling - In addition to his comments on improvements in Letterkenny fisheries as previously reported on Afloat.ie, Minister of State Joe McHugh has also announced that 83 rivers will open for salmon angling nationwide in 2015.
“Fifty-five rivers will be fully open and this will provide opportunities for all to share this important natural resource on a sustainable basis," said the minister, who added that a further 28 will be open for angling on a 'catch & release' basis.
The total number of open fisheries is down on the 87 rivers opened for 2014, which comprised 57 fully open rivers and 30 catch-and-release fisheries.
Minister McHugh also discussed the further retention of the reduced licence fee for anglers to encourage tourism in the growing sector.
“In 2012 the cost of fishing licences was reduced in the prevailing economic climate and I have decided to maintain that price cut for 2015," he said. "I believe that lower costs will encourage sales of annual licences and continue to incentivise angling tourists to avail of the Ireland’s first-class angling product."
Minister McHugh received management advice in relation to 145 genetically individual wild salmon stocks in Ireland from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and this advice was also made available publicly as part of a public consultation process. Over 20 submissions were considered as part of the public consultation process.
Management advice was based on the scientific assessment of the current status of all stocks carried out by the independent Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon (SSCE). This committee comprises scientists from IFI, 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.
In all, the SSCE assessed 145 rivers and has advised that: 55 rivers may open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers; 28 rivers are classified to open for catch-and-release angling; and that 62 rivers should be closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest.
Mr. Joe McHugh T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2015. These will come into effect from Thursday 1 January 2015.
Minister Mc Hugh highlighted the progress made in relation to two Rivers in the Letterkenny Fishery District.
The Minister said, "major angling development works are already underway to enhance the highly scenic River Lackagh as a salmon and sea trout fishery. In the latest annual scientific assessment the Lackagh remains open to catch and release angling for 2015 but the deficit in the salmon stock has moved significantly closer to the Rivers conservation limit which once surpassed will facilitate a full opening of the fishery"
"The partnership approach between the Creeslough Angling Club, and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in a joint management plan for the fishery is making real progress. Salmon numbers have improved steadily on the fishery in recent years with the fishery re-opened on a 'catch and release' basis for the past two seasons. The key issue is to bring the River above its conservation limit and to build on the good work to date. This will require continued collaboration and maintaining patience for the future good of the fishery – it's about staying the course", he added
The Minister recently visited the River to view for himself significant upgrades to facilities along the lower reaches of the river near Creeslough village. The majority of the work was carried out by TUS workers, with materials and additional labour supplied by IFI. The salmon Conservation Fund administered by IFI, has already funded a series of enhancement measures and work in ongoing to secure a major capital project for the fishery next year to install a crump weir and fish counter.
"This is real partnership in the Community with the local club working side by side with the State Agency to enhance their river and its fishery" said Minister Mc Hugh. "The club deserves great praise for its efforts and its forbearance, as do IFI for their excellent support, while we wait for the recovery in salmon numbers to hopefully continue its upward curve" he added.
The Minister also noted the improved stock status in the River Leannan which has moved from being completely closed in 2014 to being open for catch and release angling for 2015. The improved status will allow anglers to catch fish and thereby provide a useful index of salmon numbers in the river before releasing the fish to bolster spawning.
Minister Mc Hugh said, "this is also god news for the Leannan in that it is also moving in the right direction, however all concerned anglers and IFI must nurture this new status and continue to contribute towards building on improvements in the salmon numbers". "While this is a positive development, what the Leannan needs now is again a sense of restraint and a resolution from all stakeholders to ensure that forward movement is maintained" he added.
#MarineScience - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has officially opened a new laboratory at its research facility on its National Index Sea Trout Catchment (River Erriff) at Aasleagh Lodge in Leenane, Co Galway.
IFI says it will continue to invest resources in the Erriff research station, as the outputs from research conducted here will be vital for the future conservation and management of sea trout.
International sea trout expert Dr Graeme Harris, who gave the keynote address at the launch, congratulated IFI on its renewed focus on sea trout and emphasised the importance of world class science on this iconic species.
While research and data collection on both salmon and sea trout has taken place at the Erriff research facilities for over 30 years, a significant new research programme was initiated at the Erriff in 2014.
This new study, which saw the release of sea trout fitted with acoustic tags to sea, aims to investigate migration, distribution, habitat usage and survival of sea trout and salmon smolts in the marine environment on the west coast of Ireland.
Speaking at the launch, IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said his organisation "is committed to applied scientific research that is designed to answer important conservation and management questions.
"We have prioritised research on sea trout and are fortunate to have these excellent facilities at this location. We rely on excellent data and scientific analysis which informs future management decisions.”
The Erriff fishery is located at the head of Killary Harbour near the village of Leenane in Connemara. The fishery was purchased by the Irish State from Lord Brabourne in 1982 and has since operated as a salmon and sea trout angling and research fishery.
The river has a large lake in its headwaters, Tawnyard Lough, and a downstream fish trap has operated at the lake exit since 1983. This facility allows assessment of sea trout stocks on an annual basis.
#FishFarm - Undercurrent News reports that Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) is seeking a High Court injunction against Marine Harvest Ireland over an unauthorised pipeline used to extract water from a freshwater lough to treat salmon at its farm on the Galway coast.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the operators of the salmon farm at Kilkiernan Bay installed a pipeline more than 3km long connected to nearby Loughaunore in order to treat an outbreak of amoebic gill disease.
But Galway County Council had not yet made any decision on permitting the pipeline, which was proposed for exemption from standard planning requirements.
The council has since ruled that the development was unauthorised and did require planning permission.
Yet the pipeline remains in place - prompting FIE to seek an injunction against the Irish branch of the Norwegian seafood giant under Section 160 of the Planning and Development Act. More on the story HERE.
Meanwhile, Marine Harvest has been identified as the "most likely" foreign investor to be attracted by the controversial fish farm proposals for Galway Bay and elsewhere, as Victoria White writes in the Irish Examiner.
The columnist visited Inishbofin in Co Galway and Inishturk in Co Mayo, close to the latest proposed location for massive farmed salmon operations, to get the local perspective, and found some vociferous arguments against the shape of BIM's plans - particularly the damaging effects of large-scale monoculture as opposed to smaller but widespread sustainable schemes.