NASCO Conference, Westport, County Mayo 2024


The annual North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) conference was held in Westport County Mayo from June 3rd to 7th . The NASCO conference is dominated by the government parties with limited but important input to discussions by the NGO'S. Ireland is well represented by our NGOs (including SWIRL)  and our viewpoint on management of the resource is primarily focussed on conservation.


There was a general consensus  among all parties that Atlantic salmon have reached a point whereby their very existence may be compromised and that they certainly face extirpation in many rivers.  In the face of those threats NASCO adopted a new strategy and an action programme with the goal to ‘prioritise and drive actions necessary to slow the decline of wild Atlantic salmon populations and demonstrate that restoration is possible’ ( While accepting that salmon abundance may not be achievable in short term or indeed medium term, it is incumbent that we should concentrate on maximising the production of wild healthy juveniles and maximise the spawning potential of all catchments. 


Among the other major issues addressed by the conference were:


 All of the conference material is available at following link


To help in this matter Salmon Watch Ireland is asking all angling stakeholders to minimise their impact on remaining stocks. The angling stakeholders have a choice and can limit their catch. The over generous national  limit of harvesting ten salmon should be substantially reduced this year by the voluntary actions of the angling community. We would ask that angling is carried out with a view to releasing fish by using appropriate methods. We also request that salmon of over 65cm be released and no fish should be harvested in September. The choice to do this is voluntary and we will be asking that these over generous rules involving individual harvest by anglers to be substantially reduced going forward. While we have requested that commercial fisheries should be closed going forward we are going to canvass the commercial sector this year to reduce their effort and limit their uptake of quota.