• Much Improved Grilse Returns – Pose Many Questions

    Salmon Watch Ireland is delighted to see much improved grilse and salmon runs to Irish rivers since late May. This has led to many comments as to the nature of why improved runs are entering Irish rivers. It is probably unwise to speculate as to the reasons at this early stage and a clearer picture may arise when the year ends. However when examining this welcome upsurge we may have to look at many aspects of the salmons journey from its feeding ground to their natal rivers and indeed the journey from Ireland as smolts in the previous year. The migration of smolts to sea in 2019 is an obvious place to start and we must examine the freshwater conditions at this juncture to see if increased survival happened at this juncture. Also of interest must be the oceanic conditions which greeted salmon smolts on their migration and at the post smolt nursery areas in the Norwegian sea.  After their first sea winter salmon have a decision to make related to maturity as to whether they return as grilse or stay a longer period at sea and return as MSW salmon. Have conditions improved at sea and are large scale climatic indices favourable to historical increased salmon survival norms? The simple answer is that  climatic indices seem to be heading towards more favourable conditions which may result in a more favourable temperature regime in the North Atlantic regions where salmon feed. If we are to experience the conditions which normally resulted in abundance then we can assume that bye-catch and predation may only be minor impediments to salmon abundance. However within this situation we may have the impacts of climate change which may affect large scale climate indices in a way which may not follow perceived norms in historical data. Only time will tell. The other reasons that we have encountered relate to bye-catch or directed illegal fishery which may have been reduced substantially by the Covid 19 related reduction in fishery effort and market availability around the North Atlantic. It would seem that this theory has some merits but data regarding the fishery effort must be examined to see if there is merit. A very simple analysis of fishery effort in the Norwegian sea, Icelandic waters and the Faroes during the period from mid March may enlighten the debate. However the capture of such large quantities of adult salmon in previous years may have been difficult to hide. Hopefully this increased trend in salmon stocks continues and that the cause is natural rather than man made. However a number of years in the past have given us false hope notably 2007 but there has been a substantial downward trend from 2008. Increased effort by the illegal fishery both at sea and inland has put enormous pressure on limited protection resources and now more than ever directed information is required from stakeholders by IFI to effectively protect the resource.    


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  • Sea Lice Ireland

    Salmon Farming:Complaint to the Commission of the European Communities about the Government of Ireland’s failure to comply with Community law.

    Subject of Complaint: Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997, Ireland, hereafter referred to as the ‘Act’.  Salmon Watch Ireland has launched a Complaint to the Commission of European Communities. This complaint focuses on Sections of the Fisheries Act 1997 which permits the continuation of salmon farm licences which have expired. This is certainly a situation whereby the provisions of the Habitats Directive and Environmental Impact Assessment Directive are not being applied by the Irish state and as such are in contravention of both Directives. The issue of access to justice without prohibitive cost is also being not applied and should be properly transposed into the Fisheries Act.   Application of S. 19 (4), of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997, Ireland. (The impugned section of the act permits the indefinite operation of marine open cage salmon farms, with expired licenses, pending licence renewal and thereby avoiding the application of the provisions of the Habitats Directive and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive).    2.Non-Transposition of Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 85/337/EEC 2011//92/EU.   (The Act has not been amended to transpose Article 11 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive; 85/337/EEC – 2011//92/EU, i.e. Arhus Convention Rights to information, participation, and access to justice without prohibitive cost in environmental decision making). The full text of the complaint is available here Complaint Text


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  • Annual General Meeting Salmon Watch Ireland 28th March – Cancellation

    The Annual General Meeting of Salmon Watch Ireland which was due to be held on Saturday 28th March in the Maldron Hotel,Portlaoise has been postponed until further notice. We will notify you of the revised date for the AGM in due course and will be guided by the advice on meetings/gatherings from Government in that regard. Secretary Salmon Watch Ireland 20 March 2020    


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  • Sea Lice Ireland

    Deenish Island – High Court Case 28th January

    A very significant High Court Case involving MOWI (Marine Harvest) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine takes place in Dublin commencing on the 28th January 2020. The case is being taken by MOWI against the Department to overturn the decision to discontinue the statutory entitlement of Silver King Seafoods Ltd. (a wholly owned Company of Comhlucht Iascaireachta Fanad Teoranta (MOWI Ireland)) to continue aquaculture operations under the provisions of Section 19(A)4 of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act Here under is a link to the submissions as presented to the Department and ALAB regarding our investigations into breaches of the licence. The information was harvested from the Department through Access to Environmental Information Legislation. https://salmonwatchireland.ie/…/deenish-island-salmon-watc…/ https://salmonwatchireland.ie/…/deenish-island-contradicto…/


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  • Artifishal – Patagonia Full Film

    This film demonstrates how man through his interference with natural processes has greatly affected wild fish. Dams, fish farming and hatcheries have all had a devastating effect on wild salmon returns. Please watch and learn. You cannot replace wild fish. Artifishal Film - Full


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  • Integrated Constructed Wetlands (ICW)- Interesting concept to improve water quality

    The following water treatment and nutrient removal wetland concept has a potentially vital role to play in salmonid catchments. It could prove a viable option for the mine drainage affected Avoca River. Intensification of agriculture should only be considered if water quality both ground and surface can be guaranteed. This naturally constructed wetland may be a step in the right direction and should be part of all threatened catchments where water quality is impacted. ICW - Water Treatment - Nutrient Removal


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  • Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages gets Salmon Watch Ireland’s 2019 Salmon Heroes Award

    Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages gets Salmon Watch Ireland’s 2019 Salmon Heroes award.   Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages gets Salmon Watch Ireland’s 2019 Salmon Heroes award. (21 October 2019) – Salmon Watch Ireland has awarded its Salmon Heroes accolade for 2019 to Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages.  The award was presented at the Salmon Watch Ireland’s annual salmon conference in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill on 19 October. In making the presentation the chair of the board of Salmon Watch Ireland, Niall Greene, said that: “Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages is an outstanding example of what a non-governmental organization can achieve in the cause of salmon conservation.  They came together to combat the placing of a monstrously large open cage salmon farm in Galway Bay. Having successfully accomplished that task they have gone on to become probably the best informed and most active group in the country in the campaign for the ending of open cage salmon farming.  They are an inspiration to the all of us in the wild salmon conservation movement”. Receiving the award on behalf of Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages, its’ chair, Billy Smyth remarked: “It is encouraging to have had our efforts to combat open cage salmon farming recognized by people concerned about salmon conservation from all over the country.  Ours has been a long struggle and one which has not ended with BIM’s withdrawal of its plans for its’ Galway Bay mega-farm.  We continue to struggle with the dubious and often apparently illegal behavior of existing farms, with over-stocking, diseases and escapes and with the unauthorized accessing of fresh water sources.  We are adamant that if salmon farming is to have a future in Ireland it can only be through the phasing out of open cages and the transfer of all farming activity to land-based facilities’. ------------end------------ For further information contact: Niall Greene    086 826 9222 John Murphy   086 399 1074


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  • Salmon Watch Ireland – Consultation on Policy Document

    More and Stronger smolts ‘The rational management approach is to redouble efforts to address factors impacting on productivity to ensure that …. salmon rivers…. produce the maximum number of healthy wild salmon smolts’ Background – Salmon stocks are close to crisis point Before reading our Policy Document it might be advisable to review the present state of Atlantic salmon in Ireland. In conjunction with the following paragraphs and the short film you will be able to appreciate the many factors affecting Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks in Ireland. We would appreciate your views on the Policy document and any ideas you may have to help progress conservation of these iconic fish. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that, in the lifetime of people living today, Ireland’s wild Atlantic salmon could become a curiosity confined, at best, to a small number of rivers.  The species may not become totally extinct (although it could) but there may not be sufficient stock for either commercial or recreational exploitation.  A species that has huge Irish heritage and folklore significance and which, in the past, has had major social, economic and recreational value could to all intents and purposes be lost.  There is an obligation on all of use to do our utmost to prevent that happening in the interests of our own and of future generations.  It will not be an easy task. Read More


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  • Marine Institute Report – Newport Salmon and Sea Trout 2015

    This report from 2015 is a very interesting read with lots of very informative data available. Salmon Watch Ireland is particularly interested in the data relating to sea trout….


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  • Annual Conference Galway 19th Oct 2019- Salmon Watch Ireland

    Please note that this conference will help all stakeholders to understand the concepts involved in Closed and Semi Closed Containment in regard to salmon farming. It is…


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