Help Stop Irish Salmon Drift nets now [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Help Stop Irish Salmon Drift nets now
08-11-2004, 08:31 PM
The Angling community in Ireland has come together along with Members from the Tourism sector & other interested parties, in order to mount a nationwide or indeed a worldwide campaign to put a stop to Salmon Drift netting in Ireland to allow stocks to recover not just in Ireland, but also in our neighbouring countries, ( Drift Nets do not discriminate between fish destained for other European countries). We are looking for your support. The website is ( Would be much obliged if anyone can help out with this, detials can be found on the site.

Albert Mullarkey webmaster

Willie Gunn
08-12-2004, 02:34 AM
I see the Irish Times is in favour from yesterdays editorial

Saving the salmon

The Government is presiding over the final collapse of wild salmon stocks with the same kind of cavalier approach that brought about the destruction of Georgian Dublin. Those being facilitated on this occasion are fishermen, rather than developers. But the result will be the same: the loss of an irreplaceable resource and a society that will be diminished by permitting it to happen.

For decades, there has been slow decline. The introduction of off-shore driftnets, where the bulk of the salmon catch was made far from their spawning rivers, broke the link between local stock levels and conservation needs. The netsmen came from poor, isolated communities and needed the money, while many of the best salmon fisheries were located in rich farmland and were owned or operated by hotels or by people with Anglo-Irish antecedents. In political terms, vote numbers were more important than conservation.

The fall in wild salmon stocks has been well documented. As numbers dwindled, angling interests lobbied for an end to driftnetting, arguing that the fish were far more valuable as a tourist or angling resource. They were ignored. And while catch quotas were imposed, Ireland is the only European state that still permits driftnetting. Some 80 per cent of the salmon catch is taken by commercial fishermen, with 20 per cent going to anglers. Pollution and global warming have played a part in the collapse, but the major cause has been over-fishing by both netsmen and rod anglers.

The failure of this Government to heed scientific advice and take tough decisions is notorious. Two years ago, it was told that catch quotas must be reduced by 40 per cent. They were cut by 7 per cent. This year, there has been such a poor run of fish that driftnet quotas were not filled and anglers have been asked to operate a catch-and-release programme to preserve spawning stocks. The National Salmon Commission has objected strenuously to this approach and demanded that all anglers should have the right to kill a single fish in September. In the circumstances, such a compromise would be improper. If anglers continue to kill salmon in this crisis, they will lose all credibility as conservationists.

There must be radical change. The Government must immediately buy out all driftnets - the value of the catch was no more than 5 million this year - and confine commercial fishing to inshore bays and estuaries. It must also impose strict quotas on anglers so that each river catchment has a viable population of wild salmon. That way, commercial, leisure and conservation interests can be served to the benefit of all.

The Irish Times

08-12-2004, 05:00 AM
Sent my letter to the minister this morning. Thanks for fighting to keep my dream of salmon fishing in the emerald isle alive!

Tod D
08-12-2004, 09:02 AM
Hear, hear!

Anecdotally, I was shocked recently to see that the reported '03 spring/summer catches on many of the Western Ireland rivers I'd fished hard in '96-'98 were down by a factors of 20x or more.

My letter's on its way.