Boost for the Shannon

 

ANGLING NOTES:RECREATIONAL angling and commercial eel fishing will be greatly enhanced on the River Shannon following agreement between the ESB and Shannon Fisheries Preservation and Development Co Ltd (SFPDC) to establish Shannon Fishery Partnership.

The group will comprise of representatives from the ESB, SFPDC, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and Eamon Cusack, former chief executive of Shannon Fisheries Board, as independent chairman. The initiative is expected to lead to a major change in the way the Shannon fishery is managed into the future.

At a launch ceremony in Athlone, the chairman said the partnership’s priorities involve action on in-stream work in rivers and streams throughout the catchment, and ensuring a sustainable yield of fish in line with scientific advice.

While the primary function of the ESB on the Shannon is hydro-electric generation, it has also managed the area’s fisheries for over 70 years. However, the new partnership will see anglers, fishery authorities and stakeholders coming together to assist in its management.

A five-year rolling strategy is being developed to incorporate fishery maintenance and enhancement. The strategy is at a consultation phase with the various stakeholders and a draft is due to be finalised this month.

“The River Shannon, Ireland’s greatest inland fishery resource, will see tangible actions to rebuild fish stocks and their habitat over the coming years,” said Eamon Cusack.

* The European Police Freshwater Championships (EPFC) will be held at Lough Muckno in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan on October 5th-6th, 2012. The Garda will host the fishing event with assistance from Lough Muckno AC along with South Armagh and District League.

The championships will be staged on three newly developed sections at Black/Yellow Island, White Island and Concra Wood over two competition days. Practice sessions start five days prior to the main event.

This is a prolific venue with vast quantities of roach, perch, skimmers, hybrids and bream on all of the stretches. With over 20 five-man teams from Europe, plus support personnel, the event should boost tourism in the area.

* At a recent sitting of Nenagh District Court a man was successfully prosecuted by Inland Fisheries Ireland for poaching salmon on spawning grounds in the Newport River, which is part of the Mulkear catchment, near Newport, Co Tipperary. The judge imposed a fine of €1,750.

Last winter on the Newport River IFI officers encountered a group of individuals armed with spears and lamps. After a search, the officers uncovered three wild hen salmon, spears and lamps. While two of the individuals escaped, officers apprehended one man and he was convicted of illegal salmon fishing.

Amanda Mooney, IFI director Limerick, said: “This is the second case taken in recent times for this illegal activity in the Mulkear catchment. Poaching of spawning salmon is unacceptable and an environmental crime. These fish are the future survival of the species and the means whereby the Newport area can improve its tourism offering.”

* More than 24,000 people have joined an online campaign urging the governor of California, Jerry Brown, to sign bill AB 376 into law in order to ban the sale of shark fin in California.

The bill was recently passed in the California Senate. The only remaining step is for Brown to sign it into law.

More than 73 million sharks are killed every year to meet the demand for shark fin soup, a Chinese traditional dish served at major events.

“Finning has pushed shark populations to the brink of extinction, with some species declining by as much as 90 per cent in recent years,” according to Sarah Parsons, senior organiser with change.org. See food.change.org or e-mail sarah@change.org.


angling@irishtimes.com