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Displaying items by tag: Salmon

Spawning Atlantic salmon in Ireland’s rivers have suffered a “catastrophic decline in one generation”, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Monday (3 June), IFI deputy chief executive Dr Cathal Gallagher said numbers of wild salmon returning to Ireland to spawn have fallen from 1.76 million in 1975 to just 171,700 in 2022 — a drop of more than 90 per cent.

Dr Gallagher pointed to a mix of factors for this decline, including climate change and changing ocean conditions as well as issues affecting their food source.

IFI will be discussing the matter this week as it hosts the annual meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) in Co Mayo.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has opened the third draw for anglers wishing to catch and keep salmon from Cork’s Lower River Lee in 2024.

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

A total of 218 brown tags are being 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. Following the second issue of 55 brown tags in early April, the third online lottery for 55 tags will take place on Wednesday 29 May.

These 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 interested in entering the May draw can apply via the IFI website until midnight on Sunday 26 May.

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 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.

Full application details are available through the above link, by phoning IFI’s Macroom office on (026) 41221 or by email to [email protected].

Published in Angling

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

‘Brown tag’ regulations came 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.

A total of 96 brown tags will be available and are being 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 Wednesday 17 April.

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 14 April. Full application details are available by phoning IFI’s Macroom office at 026 41221 or by emailing [email protected].

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 opened the second draw for anglers wishing to catch and keep salmon from Cork’s Lower River Lee in 2024.

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

A total of 218 brown tags will be available, and 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. The first draw was held at the end of January, and a second issue of 55 brown tags will be selected through the online lottery on Thursday 4 April.

These 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 interested in entering the April draw can apply via the IFI website until midnight on Sunday 31 March.

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 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.

Full application details are available through the above link, by phoning IFI’s Macroom office on (026) 41221 or by email to [email protected].

Published in Angling

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
Tagged under

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
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Irish Fishing industry 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.

FAQs

Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020