Saving our Irish Salmon Nov 2005

A plea for Ireland’s salmon.

 I write as an enthusiastic angler of Wild Atlantic Salmon pursued in the rivers of Ireland mostly around the North and  North west.  Have you ever fished with rod and line and enjoyed the experience of fishing and catching salmon in the river?  If so you will know just what and enjoyable experience it is! Some people like to put heir fish back put if you are like me you will  eat what you catch and put back  undamaged what you don’t need. 

Fishing is indeed a superb leisure activity.  Some say they don’t mind if they don’t catch anything ,but I can’t imagine fishing without a good chance of a few fish. This type of fishing  is certainly not a commercial activity and fish are caught for the sheer enjoyment. People are prepared to pay for the privilege, in time, tackle and money. There are therefore huge opportunities from the vast downstream industry dedicated to assist  anglers in pursuing their goal. Tackle shops, Bed and Breakfasts Fishing Lodges, Clubs, Associations, Ghillies to name a few.

 The real challenge for the commercialization of the wild Atlantic salmon  resource is to ensure an optimum and sustainable return on investment to benefit  local communities and to  organize to protect this resource in he way it deserves. That is  by looking after the fish, their habitat and developing a greater environmental understanding for all parties involved.

I am therefore making a plea for the salmon of Ireland to be nurtured back to former levels of abundance in their natural state by supporting the key recommendations of the INDECON report on Atlantic Salmon.

I would however welcome comments and criticism so that the best workable solution can be determined.

Imagine  the situation where salmon are once more abundant and fish can  be seen in our rivers at a level which can be exploited without damaging the future survival of this great fish. That would be worthy of a great celebration. You could then  go down to the river and enjoy spending an hour or two fishing with a  good chance of a fish and be responsible for the future of your local river and its ocean salmon by taking only  a small sustainable harvest of a few fish per year.

The commercialization of this resource would then come from those dedicated to protecting future stocks and for the  privilege of catching salmon rather than those exploiting the resource in an unsustainable exploitative way.

The salmon runs of Ireland and the traditions built around them deserve nothing less. I am sure you would agree that it would be a terrible day if there were no more salmon in the sea or in the rivers to pursue.

Brendan Kerr

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