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Displaying items by tag: Salmon

#FishFarm - Groups opposed to the controversial deep-sea fish farm in Galway Bay have written to TDs asking them to bring clarity to the growing conflict over the proposals.

As the Southern Star reports, the groups have asked for a review of the current licensing requirements for aquaculture schemes to ensure that the process is transparent and open to independent review - amid news that both local TDs and State agencies are squabbling over the issue.

"To have a single minister responsible for all these stages of an industry that has such serious pollution issues associated with it, as well as the potential to devastate valuable salmon and sea trout stocks, is inappropriate and open to abuse," argues Alec O'Donovan of Save Bantry Bay, one of the groups in an alliance that include local tourism, angling and environmental interests.

Group chairman Kieran O'Shea singled out for criticism the Department of the Marine's apparent determination to push forward with Bord Iascaigh Mhara's (BIM) fish farm plans in spite of a moratorium on further development of salmon farming three years ago at EU level.

"This not only makes a mockery of EU law but highlights a worrying lack of concern for the environment," said O'Shea.

Meanwhile, another opposition group has spoken out over a letter of support for the fish farm plans by Irish seafood producers and other businesses.

According to the Galway Independent, Brian Curran Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages (GBASC) claimed the letter - signed by 43 firms, only six of which are directly involved in food production in Galway - was a "set-up".

A spokesperson for BIM dismissed Curran's comments as being "in very poor taste" in seeking "to undermine the intentions or credibility of anyone who would go out of their way to place their support for the proposal 'on the record'."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 500-hectare development off Inis Óirr in the Aran Islands would be the largest of its kind in Europe.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarm - The expected debate between two State agencies at loggerheads over the proposed Galway Bay deep-sea fish farm failed to take place as planned over the weekend as neither body sent a representative.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) had been expected to debate the planned 500-hectare organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands during the Galway Food Festival over the Easter weekend.

Organisers were informed at the last minute that neither agency would be involved in the public event, with BIM telling The Irish Times it did not feel it would be appropriate to discuss the matter in an open forum when negotiations were ongoing.

Both sides have differed over the potential impact on wild salmon populations in the area, with IFI citing research that damns the negative consequences of sea lice infestations in fish farms.

Despite their absence, the debate went ahead as scheduled, with local businesses on both sides of the argument expressing their views.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

#Angling - The battle to stem the decline of salmon stocks in Ireland's inland waterways has taken a step forward in Limerick with the news that net fishing on the River Feale will be banned from the end of July.

As the Limerick Leader reports, the end of licensed net fishing on the Feale - and important salmon spawning watercourse that flows from the Mullaghareirk Mountains in Cork through Limerick and Kerry to the mouth of the Shannon - has been welcomed by local stakeholders as "a vital step towards restoring depleted fish stocks on the embattled river".

Salmon stocks in the Feale alone have reportedly collapsed by more than 10,000 in just six years.

Local angler Brendan Danagher said that the decision to ban net fishing would also encourage anglers to accept other restrictions for conservation on the river - which include a maximum catch of one fish per person per day, with a total of three catches allowed per individual till the end of the season.

“If they’re bringing in new bylaws, they must have the goodwill of anglers," he added.

The Limerick Leader has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#InlandWaterways - Plans for one of Northern Ireland's biggest road schemes are in jeopardy after it emerged that construction could interfere with important salmon rivers.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, High Court Justice Stephens said he was "minded" to put a stop to the A5 road project between Derry and South Tyrone as he found there had been a failure to carry out an impact assessment on the Special Areas of Conservation designated on the Rivers Foyle and Finn.

Both rivers are important for migrating salmon whose numbers are dwindling in Northern Ireland's waterways, despite reports of isolated surplus counts in areas like Lough Melvin.

The Department for Regional Development now has till next Friday to argue that the omission in their preparations should not prompt the quashing of plans for the new cross-border route.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#FishFarm - As many as 2,000 people attended the protest in Galway against the proposed deep sea fish farm off the Aran Islands at the weekend.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the demonstration was organised by Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages on Saturday 2 March in opposition to the 500-hectare organic salmon farm proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

Among the speakers on the day, as The Irish Times reports, was Icelandic salmon conservationist Orri Vigfusson, who claimed the fish farm could interfere with the migration of salmon smolts from both Ireland and the rest of Europe.

GBASC vice-chairman Tommy Casserly also spoke, referring to the fish farm project as "a toxic cloud containing seven million caged salmon with all those faeces and chemicals and lice, between the Atlantic and 15,000 wild salmon which come through these waters".

Later in the day a delegation attempted to hand a letter of protest to BIM staff attending the Skipper Expo in the city, but said it was refused.

If the Galway Bay fish farm project gets the go-ahead, it would be the largest aquaculture facility of its type in Europe and would double the State's production rate of organic salmon.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

#Angling - Six new bylaws of relevance to the angling community and the commercial fishing industry have been signed into law this week by Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd.

The Conservation of Sea Trout Bye-Law provides for a daily bag limit of three sea trout (less than 40cm in length and provides for the use of single barbless hooks and prohibits the use of worms as bait once the specified number of sea trout has been caught.

The Prohibition of Angling Methods Bye-Law prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single barbless hooks, and also prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for all species of fish in the waterways specified.

The Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Newport River) Bye-Law provides for catch and release in respect of Salmon and Sea Trout (over 40 cm) in the Newport River including the waters of Lough Beltra and the Crumpaun River, Co Mayo during the period 20 March to 11 May 2013.

The Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (River Nore) Bye-Law provides for catch and release in respect of Salmon and Sea Trout (over 40 cm) in the River Nore during the period 17 March to 11 May 2013.

The Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (River Slaney) Bye-Law extends the annual close season in angling for salmon, sea trout and brown trout in the River Slaney and its tributaries in the year 2013 from 26 February to 16 March and from 17 September to 30 September. The bylaw provides for catch and release during the period 17 March to 16 September in angling for salmon and sea trout. It also provides for the use of artificial fly only with single barbless hook upstream of the Old Bridge in Enniscorthy, and provides for single barbless hook and a ban on worms as bait downstream of the bridge when angling for salmon or sea trout.

Finally, the Draft Nets and Snap Nets Bye-Law sets out the opening and closing dates (and hours) for the draft net and snap net salmon and sea trout (salmon includes sea trout as defined in the Inland Fisheries Act 2010) commercial fishing season 2013 and prohibits draft net and snap net fishing for (salmon and sea trout) in all fishery districts except those mentioned in the schedule. It also prohibits the use of monofilament material in draft nets, with the exception of Cork Harbour and Castlemaine Harbour where monofilament material in draft nets is permitted.

Published in Angling

#Fishfarm - Galway Bay FM reports that a major protest is set to take place in Galway this weekend against the proposed deep sea fish farm off the Aran Islands.

Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages is organising the demonstration from Eyre Square on Saturday 2 March at noon in opposition to the 500-hectare organic salmon farm proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

The facility, to be located off Inis Oírr in Galway Bay, would be the largest of its kind in Europe and would double the State's production rate of organic salmon, cited by BIM as Ireland's leading organic food export.

However, the scheme has been facing strong opposition from fisheries groups and local anglers citing the potential environmental impact on wild salmon numbers and the threat to tourism in the area.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is among those bodies that have expressed concern over the fish farm plans, citing research on the effect of sea lice emanating from aquaculture facilities on the mortality rate of wild Atlantic salmon.

BIM responded to news of the protest by stating such action may be unnecessary due to the appeal mechanism available in the State's decision process.

Published in Galway Harbour

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland has recently added two new guides to its list of resources for anglers fishing in Ireland.

The West of Ireland Sea Angling Guide covers the region from Westport, in Clew Bay, south to the rocky headlands of North Clare, including Galway Bay, Connemara, Killary, Louisburgh, Clew Bay, and the offshore islands of Inisbofin, Inisturk and the Aran Islands.

The guide is in no way comprehensive, and the list of marks and venues is just a sample of what is available across the region's waterways. There are literally hundreds of shore marks in the region that have rarely, if ever, been fished, but the potential waiting to be explored is immense. Getting off the beaten path and trying a new mark may produce the fish of a lifetime.

In addition, the County Sligo Game Angling Guide covers the main game angling waters in the district. It contains information on the location of each fishery as well as details in relation to contacts, permitted angling methods, angling seasons, etc.

Meanwhile, IFI has received numerous submissions from individual anglers, angling organisations and angling tourist providers regarding restrictions on the use of prawn/shrimp as a salmon angling bait on the River Suir for the 2013 season.

IFI is interested to hear the views of other angling stakeholders or from those who wish to make further submissions.

Submissions can be made to IFI Clonmel by email at [email protected] or by post to Inland Fisheries Ireland, Anglesea Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 28 February 2013.

Published in Angling

#FishFarm - RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland reports on last night's public meeting in Galway on the proposed deep sea fish farm in Galway Bay.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 500-hectare organic salmon farm proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) would be located off Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands, and would be the largest of its kind in Europe, set to double the State's production rate of organic salmon.

BIM's aquaculture development manager Donal McGuire moved to reassure concerned locals that the agency was "not about to damage [its] reputation" by "doing something foolish or doing something that will cause serious environmental damage".

McGuire added that organic salmon is Ireland's leading organic food export but is in "very very short supply", and that business would be lost to producers in Scotland and Norway.

However, the scheme has faced strong opposition from fisheries groups and local anglers citing the potential environmental impact on wild salmon numbers and the threat to tourism in the area.

At last night's meeting, RTE's western correspondent Pat McGrath says just two of the more than 100 in attendance spoke in support of the fish farm plans.

Another public meeting on the proposals is scheduled for tonight in Rossaveal.

BIM is expected to hold a public tender process for the proposed salmon farm project pending approval by Marine Minister Simon Coveney.

Published in Fishing

#Angling - Anglers on both sides of the border will be looking forward to a salmon bonanza on Lough Melvin when it opens for fishing on Friday 1 February, according to the Impartial Reporter.

The Fermanagh lake has been bucking the trend of declining fish stocks in Northern Ireland's inland waterways, which have prompted concerns that the species has been reduced to 'dodo levels'.

Despite the news last October that just three out of every 100 wild salmon returned to Northern Ireland's rivers in 2011, fishery experts believe that Lough Melvin and the River Downes that connects it to the sea have a surplus of salmon - providing valuable sport (and dinner) for angling locals and tourists alike.

Even so, anglers in both jurisdictions of the border-straddling fishery will have to abide by their respective legislation, which provides for a strict tagging and recording system.

On the Northern Ireland side, anglers are issued one tag at a time up to a total of three for the first three months of the season, with a maximum of 10 issued for any single angler on Lough Melvin by the close of fishing on 30 September.

The Impartial Reporter has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling
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