When will the salmon come back?
Cormac Burke’s article “Lonely Shores” in The Irish Skipper, August, reflects the consequences of socio economic decline, witnessed by empty fishing harbours: Teelin, Kilcar, Bunbeg, Blacksod, Goleen to name a few. Small historic ports that once thrived and were a hive of activity sustained by an active salmon fishery. Is this just another sad tale in the history of the fishing industry or the beginning of an era of future hope for salmon?
Considering the impact of the now defunct Irish Salmon net fishery it was disappointing to read an article in the Irish Times Saturday 11th August, which quoted an interview with Mary Coughlan by The Irish Skipper magazine, illustrating that there was no clarity about a way forward for the newly merged agriculture fisheries and food departments. It was expressed in the same article that the drift net ban is merely a bone of contention and that Mary Coughlin, the new minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Food is unable to take responsibility for the fisheries portfolio until a relevant government order is signed. Much more recognition and urgency needs to be given to Irish salmon not only as an important future food resource but to the socio economic value of fishing for Wild Atlantic Salmon whether by rod and line or traditional netting.
Whilst efforts to restore stocks are to be welcomed the sustainability of salmon in Ireland is too important culturally to be neglected while waiting for political leadership.
10 Belgravia Park