A vision for salmon Management in Northern Ireland

A vision for the Future for Wild Atlantic Salmon in Northern Ireland, or the North.

(whatever you prefer)  

Readers may or may not be aware that there is a public consultation document to discuss the future for the management of salmon in Northern Ireland.

Basically this involves deploying a new structure for fisheries protection and management in Northern Ireland. The Fisheries Conservancy Board in its old form is to be amalgamated into the Department for Culture arts and Leisure. The consultation is a vital opportunity for you to have a say in the development of your fishing in Northern Ireland. Therefore it is vital that as many of you as possible contribute to the recent consultation document perhaps through your local club which will begin the process of returning salmon in abundance to the rivers of Northern Ireland.

The successful drift net buy out provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to build on the increased runs to our rivers to ensure a better future for salmon in Northern Ireland. We all need to do what we can to build a sustainable abundance of salmon and trout in the rivers of Northern Ireland.

If you wish to have any further information please contact me as below or look at www.dcalni.gov.uk



What is your vision for Atlantic salmon in Northern Ireland?

The review of salmon management in Ireland needs to be visionary and commit to maximising the remnant potential of our greatest natural living asset which is wild Atlantic salmon.  Northern Ireland has incredibly unique assets to support a vision of future abundance where rivers are full of salmon, for anglers to catch and to inspire anglers, non anglers and tourists alike.

Planning for future abundance

The time is ripe for Northern Ireland to go on a journey to further develop its huge potential for abundant wild Atlantic Salmon and trout. A vision supported by a realistic plan is required to guide us there.

Recent successes and future opportunities

There are many recent examples of good works implemented by angling clubs and professional fisheries managers. For example hatchery regeneration projects, in stream habitat improvements and pollution prevention projects that are beginning to bear fruit. The hard working, committed and undervalued innovators of these works would welcome plenty of support and recognition for their work. The vision needs to be forward looking and ambitious. There are numerous rivers and streams not achieving their full potential. For example all the Lough Neagh Rivers, Lower Bann Rivers, Lough Erne System, The River Bush, the Glens and all the rivers rising in the Mournes and the river Lagan can all contribute to future salmon abundance. Strangford Lough and perhaps Larne Lough could be world class sea trout fisheries and probably once were.

Goals and Outcomes

It would be encouraging to see goals and outcomes planned over 5 to 10 years as most things in fishery management are long term projects. Projects should be accounted for by their future sustainable future value. Salmon and trout are a renewable resource that have been around since before the last ice age when they re colonised our stream in Ireland.

I do hope that you will consider contacting your club and taking the opportunity at club meetings etc to discuss your future angling prospects in Northern Ireland.

You may like to consider the following.


            *Fisheries Act Northern Ireland 1966 and as subsequently amended.

            *Law of the land re Fisheries in Northern Ireland.

            *Public Estate Fisheries.

            *Private Estate Fisheries.

            *Revenue raising system. License as in Ireland and England or a Riparian Tax as in Scotland.

            *The market place for Angling and the needs of local communities.

            *Water framework directive

            *EU policy


            What non statutory structures are already in place to facilitate a vision for   fisheries and how do these need to be modified to secure a realisation of your            Vision. For example Angling Clubs, Fisheries Commissioners, Associations,   Forums, statutory, nonstatutory groups, Non government organisations.


            What processes can DCAL put in place to deliver your vision and assist in achieving your development plan?           



            How can DCAL function as a representative organisation? Who will they   represent and what will they be responsible for?


            Interdependent Management          

            Where does DCAL have overlap responsibility within the Lochs Agency    district and what can they learn from them?


            Fisheries Protection

            What are the goals and aims of fisheries protection and how are these         implemented?


            Designing for best practice

            To what extent are the resources of Fisheries protection aligned with           need.   Is there a vision for a way forward? Should there be a complete             review of Fisheries management in Northern Ireland.

            Socio economic outcomes

            What economic and socio economic measures are used to assess outcomes and       funding. 



            The FCB was supposed to be financially self sufficient via licensing. What             other suggestions do you have to provide funding and or support for you clubs           goals? 


I look forward to hearing the results of your discussion and responses and to abundant runs of salmon and trout in the years ahead.

Yours sincerely

Brendan Kerr

Natural Living Assets


07852 685 854

58 Central Avenue


BT20 3AW 

Answers to specific questions in section 4

Comments are closed.