Angling Notes: Protection RIBs unveiled to mark Year of the Salmon
Inland Fisheries Ireland is replacing sea-going fleet with 12 maritime protection RIBs
Minister of State for Natural Resources Seán Canney and Inland Fisheries Ireland staff mark the International Year of the Salmon with the unveiling of one of a new fleet of 12 RIBs at Greystones, Co Wicklow.
The 2019 International Year of the Salmon (IYS) was marked by Minister of State for Natural Resources Seán Canney at the unveiling of one of a new fleet of 12 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) at Greystones, Co Wicklow, last week.
The new protection boat will serve the east coast and larger inland lakes in the eastern river basin district and comes after the launch of other RIBs around the country in recent months.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is replacing its sea-going fleet with 12 new Delta 780HX maritime protection RIBs built by Delta in Manchester. This will ensure proper protection of salmon in the coastal waters of Ireland out to the 12-mile limit.
The plight of the Atlantic salmon populations was highlighted at the launch with the announcement that an estimated 240,000 returned to Irish shores last year. These, in turn, were distributed throughout our rivers with more than 140 such systems designated as salmon rivers.
While this figure may represent the healthy condition of river stocks, the numbers returning has decreased by more than 70 per cent in recent decades. In the 1970s, the numbers peaked at 1,800,000.
The declining trend, both nationally and internationally, is attributed to many factors including climate change, alterations to physical habitats, water quality, predation, overfishing and increased mortality due to sea lice.
IYS is a joint worldwide initiative of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, alongside other partners across the globe, creating an international framework for collaborative outreach and research.
It is hoped that the conference will raise awareness of what humans can do to ensure salmon and their habitats are conserved and restored against a backdrop of several environmental factors.
Mr Canney said: “The IYS is a global initiative which aims to bring people together to share knowledge, raise awareness and take action on how we can ensure the resilience of salmon. Ireland is recognised as an international exemplar in terms of placing the conservation imperative at the very heart of our salmon management.”
Irish mackerel quota worth more than €55 million annually, Minister says
Minister for the Marine Michael Creed has acknowledged the outcome of the international fisheries negotiations which concluded in Bergen, Norway, last week between the European Union, Norway and Faroe Islands on the management of mackerel in the northeast Atlantic.
As the second-largest EU quota holder, Ireland was a central participant at the negotiations. The countries involved agreed to a 20 per cent reduction for 2019 which reflects the scientific advice that the abundance of mackerel has declined.
This reduction is seen as essential to ensure that the stock is fished sustainably. The mackerel quota for Irish fishermen for 2019 will be just over 55,000 tonnes and worth more than €55 million directly to our catching sector, the Minister said.
Wales Fisheries Forum holds inaugural meeting
The Wales Fisheries Forum, which held its inaugural meeting last month, is a new body which hopes to protect and enhance fish stocks and fisheries in Wales. The forum will be made up of representatives from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and a variety of groups and organisations.
Initially the forum will consist of 10 of the most prominent organisations in Wales, but future membership will be reviewed. In addition, other groups may attend including Welsh government, netsmen, wildlife organisations and individual rivers groups.
Peter Gough, NRWs principal officer, said: “There is no one silver bullet to solve the many issues and challenges facing fisheries, the solutions can be found in a combination of different changes, all of which need to be supported by new ways of thinking.
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