#MarineScience - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and Northern Ireland’s Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) welcomed delegates to the second International Sea Trout Symposium, which took place this week from 20-22nd October in Dundalk.
The symposium’s key objective was to promote the wider application of an evidence-based approach to the future management and regulation of the sea trout. It also considered developments since the last symposium, held in 2004, and highlighted priorities for future investigation.
International scientists, managers and policymakers interested in the conservation and protection of the sea trout attended the conference.
Sea trout is a valuable natural resource in Ireland, offering an exceptional angling experience to both tourists and locals. Irish fisheries managers are therefore very focused on the sustainable management, and, where required, the restoration of these valuable stocks. Outputs of the symposium will be used to develop national sea trout policies.
Northern Ireland’s Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín commented: “Last year I brought in new legislation to protect both salmon and sea trout in our native rivers. All salmon and sea trout caught must be released back into the water, unless those rivers are meeting their management targets.
“We are delighted to be working with Inland Fisheries Ireland in advancing our knowledge of this species so that we all can enhance our understanding of their complex life history and ensure that we are taking all the necessary steps not only to conserve them but also to enhance stocks in our rivers.”
Meanwhile, Joe McHugh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, expressed his appreciation for "all the scientists, managers and fisheries stakeholders on their passion and enthusiasm in extending their knowledge and understanding of sea trout management and conservation.
"The presence of this iconic migrant, which leaves freshwater and wanders our coastal waters to feed heavily before returning to its natal streams to spawn, is considered by many as a very positive environmental indicator. I look to Inland Fisheries Ireland to ensure that sustainable management of sea trout is prioritised, and that the loss of sea trout populations, which has occurred in some areas, is halted."
Minister McHugh added: “I will work with Inland Fisheries Ireland to ensure that serious efforts are made to restore and conserve this valuable component of biodiversity in Ireland. I also applaud the North-South approach being taken in supporting science and management issues; this is required to ensure the future effective management of sea trout stocks."