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Displaying items by tag: Salmon

The scale of poaching in some Irish rivers is so great that anglers are being driven away from the sport, the Seanad has heard.

Senator Garret Ahearn raised concerns from the angling community amid a decline in the rate of prosecutions for fisheries offences in the latest figures from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

And as the Irish Independent reports, he argued that action must be taken to protect both valuable stocks of salmon and sea trout, and the anglers and clubs who fish for them.

“Many people are poaching fish from [the River Suir] and essentially getting away with it,” Senator Ahearn said. “The fishermen who fish in it every week, who catch and release, feel like they have to manage the river themselves.”

The senator added that there is a feeling among anglers that protection “is not happening to the extent it should” — though IFI insists it is working to protect national fish stocks and support the angling sector.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is inviting expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals to become or continue to be members of Fishery District Committees.

The Fishery Districts where commercial fisheries exist comprise Lismore, Cork, Kerry (SWRBD), Ballinakill (WRBD Galway), Bangor (WRBD Ballina) and Letterkenny (NWRBD).

The individuals shall be representative of one of the following groups/sectors:

  • Commercial salmon fishermen (draft net or snap net where appropriate)
  • Rated occupiers of fisheries
  • Salmon rod representatives

The primary purpose of a Fishery District Committee is to recommend the allocation of the available salmon surplus as identified by the Technical Expert Group on Salmon between the commercial and recreational sectors for those fisheries which have a surplus.

There will be one meeting per year (March/April). Expenses will not be paid.

Applicants will be assessed for suitability based on the application received and may or may not be selected to serve on the committee.

It is anticipated that this call for expressions of interest will be for the five-year period from 2024 to 2028.

Applications may be made until 5pm on Friday 8 March and further details, including how to apply, can be found on the IFI website.

Published in Angling

The Connemara farmed salmon producer Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta (CCET), has completed a substantial €543,000 investment with support from Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) funding.

CCET, which is the production arm of the Irish Seafood Producers Group (ISPG), says it has transformed its operations through the investment, increasing quality and efficiency and upscaling production.

Up to €272,000 of the total investment was grant-aided under a Brexit-related scheme funded by the EU to ease the negative impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The fund was administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Automated portion, skinning and strapping machines have been installed, along with a new temperature control system.

Staff are processing salmon on the factory floor in Cill Chiaráin, ConnemaraStaff are processing salmon on the factory floor in Cill Chiaráin, Connemara

“We are very excited about the energy efficiencies. Everything now is geared towards being sustainable and our ambition is to cut down on our carbon footprint and to one day be carbon neutral,”Bridie Casey, CCET financial controller said.

Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta (CCET) was established in Cill Chiaráin in 1988 and currently gives employment to around 30 local people, eight of those full time all year

“Our careful selection processes ensure that only fish of the highest quality is packed and distributed to our customers mainly in Switzerland and France,”Casey said.

She says supply of organic salmon has been a challenge in recent years.

Currently salmon is being supplied to CCET by three local producers, Mannin Bay Salmon Limited, Curraun Fisheries Ltd and Bradán Beo Teo.

Between them, they provide an average of 100 tonnes of salmon a week. All three companies have a 51% stake in CCET.

“Without our local salmon farmers we would not be in business. We value them and look forward to working alongside them in partnership for years to come,”she said.

Published in BIM
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Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is seeking submissions in relation to a proposal to restrict the commercial salmon draft net season on the Loughros Estuary (Owenea/Owentocker) in Co Donegal in 2024 to fishing between 1 and 21 July.

The proposed changes, along the lines of previous consultations, are to reflect the limited overall salmon quota available for 2024 and the number of commercial draft nets available.

An overall surplus of 304 salmon has been advised for 2024 to be divided between the commercial draft net and recreational angling sectors.

The commercial draft net season for the fishery normally opens on 12 May and closes on 31 July.

A copy of the draft proposed bye-law is available for public inspection at the IFI offices in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. It can also be downloaded from the IFI website.

Any person wishing to make observations on the proposed regulation may make submissions before 5pm on Thursday 29 February, either by e-mail to [email protected] or to the address below:

Loughros Estuary Commercial Salmon Draft Net Fishing Season 2024 Public Consultation,
Inland Fisheries Ireland,
Station Road,
Ballyshannon,
Co Donegal F94 WV76

Published in Fishing

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has opened the first draw for anglers wishing to catch and keep salmon from Kerry’s Roughty River.

‘Brown tag’ regulations come into force on the river from 15 March and will remain in place until the last day of September, when the salmon fishing season ends.

Commenting on the requirements, Sean Long, South-Western River Basin District director at IFI said: “The numbers of wild Atlantic salmon returning to our rivers is declining. The risk of over-fishing puts stocks in further jeopardy.

“Brown tag measures for salmon and sea trout are required on the Roughty River to conserve stocks and avoid accidental over-harvesting.

“Where there is a modest harvestable surplus with a risk of over exploitation, this brown gill tag system is introduced to closely monitor the angling quotas.”

A total of 96 brown tags will be available. They will be distributed to anglers with a rod licence via four draws through the 2024 angling season.

Up to a quarter of the available number of brown tags can be issued at one time. Therefore, 24 brown tags will be selected through the first online lottery on Tuesday 27 February.

The measures are part of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2023, recently signed into law by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.

Interested anglers can apply for the first draw until Sunday 25 February.

Successful anglers who receive the tags via the lottery system must place them on the fish along with a blue tag as proof it was lawfully caught and may be retained for private use.

Anglers not allocated a brown tag are permitted to fish for salmon on a catch-and-release basis on the Roughty River, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody, using single or double barbless hooks only. Use of worms as bait is not permitted.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured convictions against two men for illegal salmon angling on the River Slaney in Co Carlow.

The men were each charged with using an illegal method for salmon fishing and failing to produce a licence over the incident in the townland of Kildavin on 15 May 2023.

Dylan Byrne from Hacketstown, Co Carlow, was instructed to pay €700 in fines, and €500 in legal costs. He was also charged with obstruction or impediment of a fisheries officer.

Conor Kavanagh from Carnew, Co Wicklow was fined €350, and directed to pay €500 in legal costs.

The case was heard at Carlow District Court on 7 December 2023.

Commenting after the court verdict, Lynda Connor, South Eastern River Basin District director at IFI said: “The protection of the River Slaney is extremely important to sustain a viable population of wild salmon.

“Illegal angling puts further pressure on this exceptionally vulnerable fish. I commend our fisheries protection officers for their unwavering commitment in protecting this wonderful species.”

IFI encourages members of the public to report illegal fishing incidents, and those of water pollution, fish kills and habitat destruction, to its 24/7 phone number at 0818 34 74 24.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has opened the first draw for anglers wishing to catch and keep salmon from Cork’s Lower River Lee.

‘Brown tag’ regulations come into force on the river from 1 Thursday 1 February and will remain in place until 30 September 2024 when the salmon fishing season ends.

Commenting on the requirements, Sean Long, South-Western River Basin District director at IFI said: “The numbers of wild Atlantic salmon returning to our rivers is declining. The risk of overfishing puts stocks in further jeopardy.

“Brown tag regulations for salmon and sea trout are required on the Lower River Lee to conserve stocks and avoid accidental over-harvesting.

“Where there is a modest harvestable surplus with a risk of over-exploitation, this brown gill tag system is introduced to closely monitor the angling quotas.”

Successful anglers who receive the tags, via a lottery system, place them on the fish, along with a blue tag as proof it was lawfully caught and may be retained for private use.

A total of 218 brown tags will be available. They will be distributed to anglers with a 2024 rod licence via four draws through the 2024 angling season.

Up to a quarter of the available number of brown tags can be issued at one time. Therefore, 55 brown tags will be selected through the first online lottery on Friday 26 January. Interested anglers can apply for the first draw between now and Wednesday 24 January only.

The measures are part of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2023, recently signed into law by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.

Anglers not allocated a brown tag are permitted to fish for salmon on a catch-and-release basis on the Lower River Lee, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody. 

Anglers must use catch-and-release methods only, involving single or double barbless hooks. Use of worms as bait is not permitted.

Published in Angling

The first salmon of the 2024 angling season has been caught in Co Donegal, as Angling Ireland reports.

Shortly after 1pm on New Year’s Day (Monday 1 January), James Kenny caught and released an 8lb specimen in Watt’s Pool on the Leannan River north of Letterkenny.

Kenny’s record came just hours into the opening of 81 rivers for salmon and sea trout angling in Ireland.

Angling Ireland has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Legislation approved by Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan will allow for 81 rivers to be accessible for salmon and sea trout angling next year.

Of the 81, 42 will be open, with a further 39 open to “catch and release” angling, he said, noting the “general improvements in stocks from 2023 have been maintained for 2024”.

However, 66 rivers are to be closed as they have no sustainable surplus available, a point highlighted recently by an Afloat reader in County Cork.

The legislation is based on management advice from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) for over 140 genetically individual wild salmon stocks in Ireland, which was based on individual scientific assessments.

The minister said the assessments are carried out every year by the Technical Expert Group on Salmon (TEGOS) – an all-island independent scientific group comprising experts from a range of bodies.

“Many of our rivers are not at a sufficiently high-water quality level to support sustainable stocks, often caused by agricultural activities, and to a lesser extent, insufficient treatment of waste water,” he said.

“ This year’s advice was also made available as part of a statutory public consultation process during which written submissions from stakeholders (including the recreational and commercial fishing and the environmental sectors) were sought on the draft regulations,” he said.

“Ireland has long been internationally recognised for embedding the conservation imperative as a vital component of our management of the precious salmon resource,” Ryan said.

“ While the policy has served us well for more than a decade, I intend, as part of a broader inland fisheries policy review, to set out options for improvement, with an even greater focus on conservation, in our management regime and for modernising licensing requirements, to ensure access to the resource where its conservation and biodiversity needs are met,” he said.

The list of rivers is downloadable below as a PDF file 

Published in Angling
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Writing to Afloat.ie, reader Joan Twomey bemoans the lack of attention on the sorry status of salmon on the upper River Lee

It is heartening to read about so much EU and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) collaboration regarding Greenland salmon (Afloat.ie, 2 November 2023).

I wonder if they could do something about the environmental catastrophic actions of our own ESB semi-State body over the last 50-plus years on our Irish salmon on the upper Lee River catchment area.

Salmon are now practically extinct in this area — and in Lough Allua, the Bealaphadeen Stream and surrounding streams and rivers. Nothing is being said about this and very little is being done.

The number of salmon getting past the dams is dismal, if the real numbers were ever revealed — from being able to catch salmon in your hands there were so many, to locals not seeing a single salmon in decades.

Yours sincerely,
Joan Twomey
Ballingeary, Co Cork

Published in Your Say
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Marine Institute Research Vessel Tom Crean

Ireland’s new marine research vessel will be named the RV Tom Crean after the renowned County Kerry seaman and explorer who undertook three major groundbreaking expeditions to the Antarctic in the early years of the 20th Century which sought to increase scientific knowledge and to explore unreached areas of the world, at that time.

Ireland's new multi-purpose marine research vessel RV Tom Crean, was delivered in July 2022 and will be used by the Marine Institute and other State agencies and universities to undertake fisheries research, oceanographic and environmental research, seabed mapping surveys; as well as maintaining and deploying weather buoys, observational infrastructure and Remotely Operated Vehicles.

The RV Tom Crean will also enable the Marine Institute to continue to lead and support high-quality scientific surveys that contribute to Ireland's position as a leader in marine science. The research vessel is a modern, multipurpose, silent vessel (designed to meet the stringent criteria of the ICES 209 noise standard for fisheries research), capable of operating in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Tom Crean is able to go to sea for at least 21 days at a time and is designed to operate in harsh sea conditions.

RV Tom Crean Specification Overview

  • Length Overall: 52.8 m
  • Beam 14m
  • Draft 5.2M 

Power

  • Main Propulsion Motor 2000 kw
  • Bow Thruster 780 kw
  • Tunnel thruster 400 kw

Other

  • Endurance  21 Days
  • Range of 8,000 nautical miles
  • DP1 Dynamic Positioning
  • Capacity for 3 x 20ft Containers

Irish Marine Research activities

The new state-of-the-art multi-purpose marine research vessel will carry out a wide range of marine research activities, including vital fisheries, climate change-related research, seabed mapping and oceanography.

The new 52.8-metre modern research vessel, which will replace the 31-metre RV Celtic Voyager, has been commissioned with funding provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved by the Government of Ireland.

According to Aodhán FitzGerald, Research Vessel Manager of the MI, the RV Tom Crean will feature an articulated boom crane aft (6t@ 10m, 3T@ 15m), located on the aft-gantry. This will be largely used for loading science equipment and net and equipment handling offshore.

Mounted at the stern is a 10T A-frame aft which can articulate through 170 degrees which are for deploying and recovering large science equipment such as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV’s), towed sleds and for fishing operations.

In addition the fitting of an 8 Ton starboard side T Frame for deploying grabs and corers to 4000m which is the same depth applicable to when the vessel is heaving but is compensated by a CTD system consisting of a winch and frame during such operations.

The vessel will have the regulation MOB boat on a dedicated davit and the facility to carry a 6.5m Rigid Inflatable tender on the port side.

Also at the aft deck is where the 'Holland 1' Work class ROV and the University of Limericks 'Etain' sub-Atlantic ROV will be positioned. In addition up to 3 x 20’ (TEU) containers can be carried.

The newbuild has been engineered to endure increasing harsher conditions and the punishing weather systems encountered in the North-East Atlantic where deployments of RV Tom Crean on surveys spent up to 21 days duration.

In addition, RV Tom Crean will be able to operate in an ultra silent-mode, which is crucial to meet the stringent criteria of the ICES 209 noise standard for fisheries research purposes.

The classification of the newbuild as been appointed to Lloyds and below is a list of the main capabilities and duties to be tasked by RV Tom Crean:

  • Oceanographic surveys, incl. CTD water sampling
  • Fishery research operations
  • Acoustic research operations
  • Environmental research and sampling operation incl. coring
  • ROV and AUV/ASV Surveys
  • Buoy/Mooring operations