Displaying items by tag: Salmon
#Angling - A recent collaboration between Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), angling clubs and private individuals with close links to Lough Corrib is helping to improve matters for trout and salmon stocks in the catchment area.
Over recent years, State funding has been decreasing for habitat improvement and stream rehabilitation work on salmonid spawning and nursery streams. Local angling clubs and concerned individuals have recognised this, and stepped in to assist with funding to ensure this vital work on such a crucial natural resource continues.
A joint initiative between Cairde Loch Coiribe and the Clydagh Foundation has sponsored spawning and nursery rehabilitation projects on a number of Corrib streams.
Cairde Loch Coiribe raises funds from various angling clubs around the lake through the Corrib Federation, while the Clydagh Foundation invests in enhancement projects on the Corrib spawning streams. IFI staff, who have years of expertise in this area, design and supervise the projects.
This important work enhances habitat for spawning adult trout and salmon, and increases the nursery ground available for young fish to grow and mature.
Electro-fishing surveys carried out by IFI before and after similar works have shown that juvenile fish stocks can be increased significantly by such enhancement. It is hoped that these juvenile fish will eventually grow and augment the stocks of fish available for game angling.
Local clubs including Kilbeg, Ballindiff, Headford and Collinamuck have assisted in the most recent projects in their respective areas. Enhancement projects for 2013 have been identified and it is hoped to commence in the coming months.
These projects complement ongoing works by the OPW’s Drainage Division, under its Environmental River Enhancement Programme. This programme is carried out through liaison with IFI to improve fish habitat on previously drained channels.
Tourism angling is a major part of the local economy around Lough Corrib, and it is expected that this work will have tangible economic benefits.
As Galway Bay FM reports, campaigners Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages - one of the groups opposed to the planned Galway Bay fish farm - say that cypermethrin, an active ingredient in veterinary medicine used to treat sea lice, is toxic to aquatic organisms.
BIM aquaculture manager Donal Maguire attempted to play down fears over the use of the pesticide, saying it has been fully tested for toxicology in the marine environment.
However, another campaign group claims BIM's position is contrary to the manufacturer's own warnings on the use of the drug.
According to FishNews.eu, Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) cited the Irish Medicines Board's product description for cypermethrin, which states that it is "dangerous to fish and other aquatic life" and demands that the chemical "should not be allowed to contaminate water".
FIE went on to describe cypermethrin as "a biocide which kills life, not a medicine that saves lives" and as "a highly active neurotoxin" with "known effects on fish and, most sensitive of all, crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters. Bathers and watersports [enthusiasts] may also be at risk."
Earlier this month, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) expressed "serious concerns" over the findings of a study on wild salmon in Ireland that claimed fish farm schemes were less harmful to wild fish than pollution and possibly even beneficial to wild catchments.
IFI is among the significant opposition to BIM's proposed organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands, a 500-hectare project that would be the largest of its kind in Europe and create hundreds of jobs in the locality.
Aside from the bait regulations, Stormont is also putting forward a ban on commercial salmon netting and the introduction of a catch-and-release scheme for sport anglers in an effort to reverse dwindling salmon numbers in Ulster's inland waterways.
Similar restrictions were proposed this year for the River Suir - although anglers in Enniscorthy won support from Inland Fisheries Ireland last year in their call to lift a shrimp bait ban on their downstream fishery on the River Slaney.
Ulster Angling Federation chair Jim Haughey has urged angling club officials across Northern Ireland to study the consultation document published by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure with a view to making informed submissions on the proposed changes.
Farming Life has much more on the story HERE.
#aquaculture – A recent Marine Institute study published in the peer reviewed international Agricultural Sciences journal (June 2013) found no correlation between the presence of aquaculture and the performance of adjacent wild salmon stocks.
The study by Dr. Dave Jackson and colleagues at the Marine Institute examined geographic and temporal trends in Atlantic salmon stock abundance at a River Basin District level and evaluated the effect of salmon aquaculture sites and freshwater habitat quality as potential drivers of stock abundance.
This study found no correlation between the presence of aquaculture and the performance of adjacent wild salmon stocks. Freshwater habitat quality was found to have a highly significant correlation with stock status, suggesting that it may be a key driver, implicated in the survival of individual stocks.
The paper, Evaluation of the impacts of aquaculture and freshwater habitat on the status of Atlantic salmon stocks in Ireland, is available to download for free. An open access fee is payable by the author only after a paper has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication.
Access to quality research is vital to the scientific community and beyond and open access ensures that members of the public and the scientific community can freely access quality research without having to pay a download fee.
The Marine Institute stands firmly over all peer reviewed scientific papers published by its staff, and we support open access to high quality research.
The link to the journal is http://www.scirp.org/journal/as/
and the publication can be downloaded as a PDF document directly at this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/as.2013.46A010
The State agency for Ireland's fisheries argues that the study - which concluded not only that pollution has a greater impact on wild salmon numbers than fish farming, but also that salmon catchments in close proximity to aquaculture schemes were some of the best performing - is based on flawed methodology.
IFI is among the chorus of voices opposed to the planned organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands in Galway Bay - a 500-hectare project by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) that would be the largest of its kind in Europe if given the go-ahead.
Marine Minister Simon Coveney recently attempted to alleviate concerns over the controversial scheme, claiming there would be no damage to the environment or fish stocks.
However, the controversy doesn't end there, as last month celebrity chef and 'Slow Food' champion Darina Allen wrote to the minister over erroneous claims in BIM's environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project.
As reported by the Galway Independent, Allen contacted Minister Coveney to clarify that the Slow Food movement does not support fish farming projects, after references to the initiative in the EIS "seemed to create a lot of confusion".
Allen told the paper: “Many people contacted me under the perception that Slow Food endorsed the whole salmon farm thing and actually Slow Food has made no statement whatsoever on it.”
Later, Michèle Mesmain of Slow Food International confirmed that “salmon farming does not fit in any pillar of Slow Food”.
The Galway Independent has much more on the story HERE.
That's the situation according to the Sunday Independent, which also highlights the "major problem" of salmon poaching by "Irish criminals".
And the Independent says a number of similar cases are due to be heard before Irish courts over the coming months.
Meanwhile, poaching of salmon is hitting the headlines across the country - from the south, where two men were recently prosecuted for illegal fishing of spawning salmon in Co Limerick, to the north, where intimidation of fisheries staff is reportedly a problem.
In better fisheries news, The Guardian says cod stocks in the North Sea could be in for a revival, after a survey by the Marine Stewardship Council and others suggested that effective management could soon see the species certified as 'sustainable'.
#Fishing - Drogheda is hosting the 30th annual meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) this week till Friday 7 June.
The prestigious fisheries conference will take place in the Westcourt Hotel and will be attended by delegates from Canada, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the European Union (representing its 27 member states), Norway, Russia and the USA.
Welcoming the conference to Drogheda on Tuesday 4 June, Minister Fergus O’Dowd said it "will continue the key work of NASCO, using the best scientific information, and international co-operation to conserve and manage Atlantic salmon populations.
"I wish the many delegates a friendly and intellectually stimulating stay in Drogheda where the meeting programme will no doubt provide insights and an outstanding platform for dynamic networking to ensure the continued conservation of our precious salmon stocks."
Based in Edinburgh, NASCO is an international organisation established by an intergovernmental convention in 1984. Its main function is to conserve, restore, enhance and rationally manage Atlantic salmon through international cooperation taking account of the best available scientific information.
NASCO is the only intergovernmental organisation with this mandate, which it implements through international consultation, negotiation and co-operation.
Ireland is at the forefront of salmon conservation internationally, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland, which adds that Irish participants at the conference include a Government delegation of managers and scientists and representatives of a number of Irish-based NGOs, including Salmon Watch Ireland.
The cross-border Loughs Agency, which has responsibility for salmon conservation and protection Foyle and Carlingford Loughs, will also be represented as part of the Irish delegation.
The Sinn Féin-organised meeting at the Westwood Hotel in the city tonight was intended to be a debate hearing arguments from both sides regarding the controversial aquaculture project, according to the Galway Advertiser.
However, a statement issued by BIM - which is proposing the salmon farm scheme - claims that "recent statements from some angling groups" have made it impossible to provide a public platform for its side of the issue.
If the project goes ahead, the 500-hectare facility would be the largest of its kind in Europe. But it has faced strong opposition from local anglers and the State fisheries body Inland Fisheries Ireland over the risk posed by sea lice.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the proposed fish farm off the Aran Islands has even put local TDs at odds over questions of the potential benefits and hazards.
Meanwhile, the Galway Advertiser says that opposition group Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages plans to lodge their protest at the constituency office of Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Castlebar this Saturday 27 April as part of a nationwide campaign.
As of Friday 12 April till the end of the season, when fishing for salmon and sea trout (over 40cm) on the River Suir, the use of worms, prawn, shrimp or any other crustacean or artificial forms thereof as bait is prohibited - as is the use of any fish hooks other than single barbless hooks, up to and including 11 May.
From 12 May to 30 September the bylaw provides for a bag limit of five fish for the season subject to a daily bag limit of one fish. Anglers must use a single barbless hook once their daily or season bag limit has been reached.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) points out that this bylaw is applicable to the 2013 season only.
It is hoped that this measure will ensure even better angling for the many local anglers and angling tourists that come to fish the Suir for brown trout from Tipperary to Waterford.
As the Southern Star reports, the groups have asked for a review of the current licensing requirements for aquaculture schemes to ensure that the process is transparent and open to independent review - amid news that both local TDs and State agencies are squabbling over the issue.
"To have a single minister responsible for all these stages of an industry that has such serious pollution issues associated with it, as well as the potential to devastate valuable salmon and sea trout stocks, is inappropriate and open to abuse," argues Alec O'Donovan of Save Bantry Bay, one of the groups in an alliance that include local tourism, angling and environmental interests.
Group chairman Kieran O'Shea singled out for criticism the Department of the Marine's apparent determination to push forward with Bord Iascaigh Mhara's (BIM) fish farm plans in spite of a moratorium on further development of salmon farming three years ago at EU level.
"This not only makes a mockery of EU law but highlights a worrying lack of concern for the environment," said O'Shea.
Meanwhile, another opposition group has spoken out over a letter of support for the fish farm plans by Irish seafood producers and other businesses.
According to the Galway Independent, Brian Curran Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages (GBASC) claimed the letter - signed by 43 firms, only six of which are directly involved in food production in Galway - was a "set-up".
A spokesperson for BIM dismissed Curran's comments as being "in very poor taste" in seeking "to undermine the intentions or credibility of anyone who would go out of their way to place their support for the proposal 'on the record'."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 500-hectare development off Inis Óirr in the Aran Islands would be the largest of its kind in Europe.