ACTIVITY & ADVOCACY
SALMON WATCH IRELAND: THE NEXT LEVEL
Salmon Watch Ireland is at the forefront of efforts to save endangered Atlantic Salmon from environmental threats, decline, and a downward spiral towards virtual extinction. That may sound extreme, and it certainly is, but we believe it is not an exaggeration of the risks now facing wild salmon. Salmon numbers are in alarming decline virtually everywhere, despite all measures taken to preserve them regionally and globally.
In Ireland, as in Europe and North America, the dwindling numbers of salmon returning to our rivers are a mere shadow of former abundance. Their demise is, above all, a result of the harmful effects of human interactions on this noble fish.
The scale of decline over the past 30 years has been staggering. Indeed, it resembles an unrelenting vortex, which, if left unchecked, could tend towards virtual extinction.
In response to this situation, Salmon Watch Ireland was formed in 2007 by anglers, angling associations, fishery owners, managers, lay people, and salmon experts. Salmon Watch Ireland has been consistently engaged in advocacy, lobbying, public relations, litigation, representation, and education to help prevent salmon decline. We have assisted and continue to assist local organisations in their salmon conservation campaigns.
Our scientific advisers, specialists, professionals, and legal counsel volunteer their time and energy, working unpaid, and travelling throughout Ireland and abroad. Our committee members continuously devote their time, energy, and money to the protection of salmon stocks.
The scale of the challenge to salmon survival has nevertheless grown with each passing year. Reduced marine survival, over exploitation, predation, and declining water quality have all been at play. Above all, the adverse impacts of marine salmon farm mediated parasites, pathogens, and interbreeding with salmon farm escapees, all represent formidable threats to wild salmon survival. To this end, state policy to increase the number of open pen coastal salmon farms is extremely alarming.
Salmon Watch Ireland is now intensifying its endeavours to meet these threats. We are constantly building our capacity to halt salmon decline and reverse the grim prospects for wild salmon in the years to come.
Salmon Watch Ireland is a registered Company Limited by Guarantee, (CLG) and as such we are required to operate under the Companies Act 2014. The operating cost to comply with the Companies Act can be substantial and this is financed by our membership.
To be consistently engaged in advocacy, lobbying, public relations, litigation, representation, and education is onerous and financially challenging. We will continue to assist local organisations in their salmon conservation campaigns, but we must become more readily enabled to fund our activities going forward.
Salmon Watch is now taking its second High Court challenge in defence of wild salmon, with potential court costs running to a very substantial level. This particular case involves the decision by the Aquaculture Licence Appeals Board to grant a licence to MOWI for a new salmon farm in Bantry Bay. We are very encouraged to see two further cases being run in parallel to our own case. We particularly welcome the bringing of Judicial Review proceedings by Inland Fisheries Ireland opposing the Bantry Bay Salmon Farm Licence.
We are now appealing to our sponsors and members, new and old, to redouble their efforts to assist us in the continuation of our advocacy work. Please contribute and help preserve wild salmon. Individual, group, and corporate contributions are constantly needed to support the activities of Salmon Watch Ireland.
All contribution, no matter how small, will be acknowledged and applied in furtherance of the Salmon Watch mission to preserve Wild Atlantic salmon.
We also need to bolster our membership base, to keep interested people informed, and to facilitate a more streamlined and regular financial input to allow us to continue our work. In order to facilitate membership, it is our intention to issue annual reminders to members and contributors on 01 February to renew their membership.
We all need to act together, and act now. It is long past the time for ignoring this terrible situation.
Use the online facility below to contribute and for new and renewal membership fees. However if you wish you may directly tranfer funds or send cheques to our Secretary. The details are listed below.
Mr Bob Wemyss
Salmon Watch Ireland
Bank Account Details are as follows:
Bank of Ireland, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.
Account Number: 88206176
Sort Code: 906099
IBAN: IE82 BOFI 9060 9988 2061 76