#ANGLING - Premium wild Irish salmon will soon be available at fish counters around the country - but only thanks to strict conservation measures, says Inland Fisheries Ireland.
The fisheries body announced a quota of less than 17,000 wild salmon that may be caught either commercially or by anglers during this year's season from 12 May to 12 August to ensure their preservation for future generations.
Only authorised dealers or commercial licensed salmon fishermen may sell wild commercially caught salmon, all of which have a green, white or orange tag attached before processing. Those with a blue tag (not commercially caught) or no tag at all may not be sold.
"Wild Irish salmon are organic, a premium product and part of our natural heritage, we all have a duty to ensure their survival," said Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd.
"Buying or selling illegally caught salmon is an environmental crime and jeopardises Ireland's potential to have a sustainable salmon fishery into the future, and it also damages biodiversity."
The IFI also reminds that farmed salmon are a different product, and are widely available year round. Consumers are advised to ask their supplier if they have any doubts as to the origin of their salmon.
Members of the public can also report incidences of illegal fishing or the sale of illegally caught salmon to the IFI at freephone 1890 34 74 24 or for easier recall 1890 FISH 24.
The news comes as voluntary conservation measures are put in place on the Foyle river system in response to a "worrying fall" in adult salmon numbers in Ireland's rivers.