Displaying items by tag: Salmon
#ANGLING - Minister for Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd has confirmed that there is no proposal for the extension of the salmon draft netting season.
In response to concerns expressed by the angling community and highlighted by Derek Evans in The Irish Times last week, Minister O’Dowd emphasised that conservation and management of salmon and sea trout is key to protecting our valuable natural resources.
“Recent reports that the commercial season will be extended in certain rivers are untrue and I can confirm that for the 2012 season, the commercial fishing season remains as it was in all areas, with the River Suir still on a reduced season for snap fishing," said the minister.
"I am aware that confusion can arise due to the necessary extent of regulations in place. However, I am not considering any proposal for the extension of the commercial season."
The minister reminded that Inland Fisheries Ireland is the body that enforces Ireland's "extensive" fisheries legislation.
"IFI has offices throughout the country where advice can be sought. There is also a comprehensive and regularly updated website and information is also disseminated on Facebook and Twitter," he said.
Meanwhile, IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said that the legislative code is regularly updated to ensure that Ireland's fisheries continue to be protected on the basis of information from IFI’s Standing Scientific Committee and IFI management advice.
“Only rivers with exploitable surpluses are open during the spring season and no fishery is open for commercial exploitation during this time," said Dr Byrne. "Fisheries that are classified catch-and-release or closed for salmon are now protected under bye-law 897 which prohibits the use of worms and the use of any fish hooks other than single barbless hooks.
The overall objective of the survey, which will run over the course of 2012, is to establish the current volume and value of domestic and overseas recreational angling in the country.
Pike, coarse fish, bass, salmon, sea trout, brown trout and sea anglers will all be invited to participate in what is described as Ireland's most comprehensive angling survey undertaken in decades.
The survey will inform IFI and its tourism partners in relation to the business of angling in Ireland and also enable improved strategic planning and decision-making in terms of product development and marketing.
"Anglers are the key to this survey," commented Minister of State for Natural Resources Fergus O'Dowd. "They know the resource and they understand the importance of sustainability. What anglers contribute to Ireland’s economy is unknown but I am certain that it is significant.
"Angling takes place in every river and lake in Ireland and all around our coastline. There is no town or village in Ireland that doesn’t have anglers."
He added: "It is imperative that the inland fisheries and sea angling resources are managed in the best way possible to ensure enjoyment for our local and visiting anglers, sustainable jobs in rural communities and maximising its potential to add to Ireland’s economy.
"Getting the right information from those most involved will greatly assist in improving the angling product."
The survey comprises two parts: a household survey and a survey of recreational anglers which will commence in April. Anglers will be met at fishing locations throughout Ireland and invited to participate there and then, or later by phone or online. IFI says that every effort will be made to accommodate participation.
- Inland Fisheries Ireland
- Tourism Development International
- SocioEconomic Survey of Recreational Angling in Ireland
- Sea Trout
- brown trout
- coarse angling
- sea angling
- Minister of State for Natural Resources
- Fergus O'Dowd
- inland waterways
According to the News Letter, the NoSalmonNets campaigners "have swapped their fishing rods for laptop computers", using Facebook to attract support for their campaign to bring an end to the offshore netting of wild salmon stocks.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Northern Ireland's Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) has called for a voluntary ban on offshore salmon fishing, following new research that shows a significant drop in their numbers in the North's rivers.
Seamus Donnelly of NoSalmonNets has welcomed DCAL's recent decision to stop issusing licences for commercial salmon nets that may "contravene European law" off Antrim's north coast, made in an effort to protect salmon stocks in the Foyle river system.
Donnelly explained that the campaign was borne from frustration at the apparent inaction by the NI Executive over the protection of salmon.
“One of the keys to our success has to be Facebook," he said. "The internet has an unlimited reach and we took advantage of that.”
The News Letter has more on the story HERE.
#ANGLING - Northern Ireland's taxpayers could be left with a bill for millions in EU fines if action isn't taken to reverse the decline of salmon stocks, the News Letter reports.
Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann said he believes that voluntary measures to help protect the North's Altantic salmon will not remove the threat of "fines which would likely run into millions which [the people of NI] will end up paying".
Annual monitoring of the North's salmon rivers has shown a failure to reach targets most years since 2002, with the survival rate of salmon in the marine phases in some cases dropping to as little as 5%.
Coastal drift nets and bag nets off the north Antrim coast - which contravene EU directives - have been blamed for intercepting salmon stocks before they reach the rivers, and anglers and conservation groups have already called for a ban.
But Swann says that Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) does not yet have the legislative power to stop them.
The News Letter has more on the story HERE.
#ANGLING - The first wild Atlantic spring salmon of 2012 was caught Sunday on the River Liffey in exceptional circumstances, The Irish Times reports.
Though the river is closed for salmon fishing as stocks are currently below sustainable levels, Inland Fisheries Ireland sanctioned a special catch-and-release club event for survey reasons at Islandbridge in the capital.
Declan Briggs – a 47-year veteran of the Dublin and District Salmon Anglers' Association - landed the 8.5lb beauty using a wooden Devon lure at 9.50am.
“This is my first time to catch the first fish. I’m absolutely delighted," he said.
Elsewhere in Ireland, Briggs' catch was mirrored by Tyrone man Ian Martin, who caught the northern region's first salmon on the year on the River Drownes near Bundoran.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
#ANGLING - Inland Fisheries Ireland's Salmon Conservation Scheme has been extended into 2012, with funding increased to a total of €200,000.
The pilot scheme will facilitate the rehabilitation of salmon stocks, giving priority to rivers below their conservation limit which have the greatest prospect of recovery.
Applications are now being invited for salmon conservation projects, to a maximum value of €10,000 per project. Applicants must outline the benefits of the project, the ability to plan and complete the project, and value for money. Any statutory approvals necessary, such as planning permission, must be in place.
Examples of schemes that can be funded include: fish passage improvement; spawning enhancement, instream structures such as weirs and deflectors; river bank protection; tree pruning and planting; and removal of invasive species.
Minister for Communiations, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, commented: "This scheme has been proven to enhance habitat, knowledge and ultimately the wonderful angling and commercial fisheries we enjoy in Ireland adding benefit to local economies."
Application forms are available from the Inland Fisheries Ireland website HERE.
The closing date for applications is 31 March 2012.
#ANGLING - Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd was on hand at the opening of the White River enhancement project in Dunleer, Co Louth earlier this month.
The €32,000 project was funded by the Louth Leader Partnership, with works were carried out by the Dee and Glyde Fishing Development Association and the Dundalk district staff of Inland Fisheries Ireland.
The White River, a tributary of the River Dee, is considered hugely important as a spawning and nursery area, and it has already seen significant improvements in the levels of juvenile salmon and trout.
Instream enhancement works began in 2006, supervised by Inland Fisheries Ireland, and included the introduction of new gravel, weirs, deflectors and spawning beds which have helped the White River to achieve its potential in terms of fish numbers.
Speaking at the launch, Inland Fisheries Ireland CEO Dr Ciaran Byrne said: "The work that I have seen on the river is fantastic and a credit to all involved."
IFI assistant inspector in Dundalk, Ronan O’Brien, said project was based on restoring the natural features of the river.
He added that the programme was a great recognition of the work carried out by the Dee and Glyde Fishing Association, and that it had strengthened links with local business and development groups and could be used as a template for other projects in the area.
#FISHING - Seafood lovers of Cumbria in north-west England have been urged to broaden their tastes to save depleted stocks of their favourite fish in the Irish Sea.
According to the News & Star, some 80% of Britons "insist upon eating just five types of fish – cod, tuna, salmon, prawn and haddock."
But the Cumbria Wildlife Trust says that with coastal waters facing the serious threat of overfishing, a rethink is needed among both consumers and suppliers alike.
“The Irish Sea has a wide range of edible fish species but you wouldn’t know it judging by the fish counters in supermarkets across the county," says Lindsay Sullivan of the trust's Wild Oceans project, an 18-month scheme that hopes to "turn the tide for seafood".
A big part of this is encouraging consumers to skip the usual white fish and try different species such as flounder, monkfish and red mulllet, creating demand for cheaper and more sustainable fishing.
The News & Star has more on the story HERE.
#ANGLING - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has announced the launch of its 2012 Sponsorship Programme.
The IFI Sponsorship Programme aims to increase awareness of IFI and its work, recreational angling, the sustainable commercial use of the inland fisheries resource and habitat issues.
Applications are invited from organisers and event promoters that will support the aims of the IFI sponsorship programme.
Events would be supported on the basis of: the location and nature of the event; the potential of the event to introduce new users to angling in an active capacity (ie not just as spectators); and to educate and inform stakeholders of angling, environmental, commercial salmon fisheries and habitat issues.
"The sustainable use of our wonderful inland fisheries and sea angling resources must be promoted," said Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, who launched the programme.
"People of all ages can enjoy angling in urban and rural settings, off charter boats and beaches and on quiet riversides.
"In addition, traditional commercial fisheries add value to small local communities, while biodiversity awareness ensures a sustainable resource for all."
Applications and details of the sponsorship programme are available online or from your local IFI office. The closing date for submissions is 27 January 2012.
New evidence is indicating that wild salmon are adapting to climate change by feeding in colder waters, The Irish Times reports.
According to salmon expert Dr Ken Whelan, wild salmon are now diving as far as 800m below the surface - normally the preserve of the sperm whale - to feed for periods of up to 24 hours during winter months.
They are also travelling closer to the polar ice fields, in response to the warming of the Atlantic Ocean.
The change in behaviour was noted at a salmon summit in France attended by more than 100 fishery managers and scientists from across Europe, which was convened to discuss the threat of climate change to wild salmon stocks at sea.
Plankton levels are particularly affected by the changing wind and ocean currents, said Dr Whelan of findings from the EU-funded Salsea programme, which he led.
“Surviving the first winter at sea seems to be the key challenge for these stocks, and the salmon in the northern states like Norway and Russia, seems to be less affected,” he said.
But the recent return of wild salmon to the Tolka in Dublin, as well as healthy numbers along other inland waterways, highlighted that the news was not all doom and gloom.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.