Angling Notes: New rules for wild salmon and sea trout fisheries approved

 

A suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries from Sunday, January 1st, 2017, has been approved by the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Sean Kyne.

“In all, 73 rivers will open for angling, 46 of these will be fully open with a further 27 open on a ‘catch and release’ basis. Ireland has been managing fisheries in accordance with the scientific advice since 2006 and that will continue. However, I am keen that after 10 years, the catch and release element of the policy is examined to explore whether changes might actually benefit the management of our fisheries,” he said.

The Minister received management and public consultation advice in relation to more than 140 rivers in advance of setting out the legislation. This was based on scientific assessment carried out by the Independent Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon.

Based on this advice, the assessment of rivers/estuaries/harbours, is that: 46 rivers should be open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers; 27 rivers should be classified as open for “catch and release” angling; and 73 rivers should be closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest.

Bantry salmon farm

“It is now five years since Marine Harvest (MH) first applied for a salmon farm licence at Shot Head. During this time, hundreds of objections have been submitted from inshore fishermen, anglers, tourism operators, local businesses, residents and environmentalists,” said Kieran O’Shea of Save Bantry Bay.

The appeals cover an array of omissions, inadequacies and inaccuracies of the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by MH, the developers behind the salmon farm, as well as wider social and economic concerns.

“We have spent the last five years researching the issue and have been shocked at what we have learned. MH have presented studies to back their application that are weak at best.

“The fact that ALAB now wish to examine data presented in more detail confirms that local residents, businesses, inshore fishermen, anglers, environmentalists and tourism interests were right: Shot Head is not an appropriate location for a salmon farm.”

Aquaculture licensing group appointed

Michael CreedAquaculture Licensing Review

“I am pleased to announce the formation comprising three persons who I am confident will be widely accepted as having the skills, experience and integrity to conduct this independent review. I would like to thank Mary Moylan, Ken Whelan and Lorcán Ó Cinnéide for agreeing to serve on the review group,” the minister said.

Ken Whelan PhD is adjunct professor in the School of Biology and Environmental Science at UCD and research director of the Atlantic Salmon Trust. Dr Whelan was formerly an executive director, with responsibility for aquaculture at the Marine Institute, chairman of the International Atlantic Salmon Research Board and chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation.

He is currently a self-employed marine and freshwater fisheries consultant.

First salmon of the year

angling@irishtimes.com

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