Anglers and Netsmen

Traditions, Commercial Nets men, Anglers, Scientists! Can we work together for a stronger future?

Dear Sir

Who is to blame for the state of Ireland’s salmon fishery? Is it, anglers, nets men or politicians, or simply a failure to care for the future and inability to do something about improving stocks?  Is there an opportunity for collaboration to maximise the value of the great wild Atlantic salmon resource?

The history of Ireland’s salmon fishery in the September edition, by Maire Keane O’Donnell made interesting reading. The final two sentences expressed a desire that in the future there could be great landings in the salmon ports throughout Ireland provided proper strategies and measures are implemented, and that there will be great stories to tell in another 100 years. It would be most interesting to hear from traditional Nets men what these strategies and measures are.

Strategies that are good for Anglers will also be good for commercial fishermen! This is best demonstrated in Ballina where the nets in Ballina district caught 21,947 fish in 2004. Is it a coincidence that the best angling river in the country, (arguably) the Moy contributes to a net catch that is 14.7% of the Irish National catch?

All of those who read this magazine will probably be interested in seeing that salmon are still around in their wild self sustaining form to be fished for in years to come.

Anglers have been calling out for habitat protection for years and were one of the first groups to realise that things were amiss with salmon when runs didn’t happen or when there was pollution and access problems for fish. Well run clubs and associations can manage their systems in a way that promotes good angling practice, conservative exploitation and catch and release. Licensed Commercial Nets men and anglers agree that there is a pirate like, non licensed poaching of fish for a black market in salmon. Is this one area where there could be collaboration to protect endangered stocks of salmon and up stocks for future sustainability?  

Yours sincerely

Brendan Kerr

19 Swanston Gardens


EH10 7DJ

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