Saturday, 26 May 2018

Article: Salmon Watch Ireland on Aquaculture in Ireland

The advent of salmon farming in the late 1980’s in Ireland gave rise to much debate in regard to the negative effects that this new type of practice might mean for our coastal marine environment. Unfortunately the most visible consequence was observed almost immediately in that a strange and unexpected premature sea trout migration back to freshwater took place in areas where salmon farming was being carried out. These fish were early returnees and within a few weeks of their migration as smolts or kelts they had returned in large numbers with varying degrees of injury and infection. Adults and finnock (immature fish at sea) were equally affected with the common denominator being their closeness to salmon farms and the number of sea lice attached to these wild fish,which were many times what was expected in wild fish. Please click on link to view the full article.

Salmon Watch Article

Off The Scale Magazine

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Friday, 4 May 2018

Presentation: SWIRL Conference by Inland Fisheries Ireland

The presentation by Inland Fisheries Ireland demonstrates the stock levels as they exist today. Unfortunately there has been a steady decline in stocks post 2007 as indicated by the counter network across the country.
It is not a very encouraging situation and is compounded by many factors both in-stream, near coastal and oceanic influences. With Ireland's  human population growing aligned with increases in livestock farming and associated habitat compromise we are now really seeing a situation whereby the salmon population may be at risk through our anthropogenic influences. With the proposed expansion of aquaculture our salmon stocks are certainly at a highly increased risk.

One aspect of the presentation showed that we as a nation are still not releasing salmon to the degree of other close at hand countries and our catch and release figures indicate that less than 40% of fish are released.
An interesting statistic is that the average MSW salmon catch is now averaging out at 15% of total catch.
One slight ray of hope is that the counter figures for 2016 and 2017 demonstrate an upward trend which hopefully might herald a somewhat more positive future.

Inland Fisheries Ireland: State of Irish Salmon Stocks

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Conference Presentation: Salmon Watch Ireland 21 April 2018

Here under a recent presentation at the Salmon Watch Conference on 21 April 2018. The main emphasis of this presentation was to highlight the knowledge gained over the recent decades in regard to mortality factors of juvenile salmon. 
  • Marine growth rates varied among years, highest growth rates 2002, followed by 2003 and 2009. Lowest growth rates in 2008 (Very poor returns of 1 SW salmon in 2009 and 2 SW in 2010). 2010 saw a good increase in survival for 1 SW fish.
  • Growth rates during the first period at sea were lowest for salmon of southernmost origin (this would include Ireland). This effectively illustrates that climatic change and altered ocean temperatures are affecting post smolt feeding at entry to ocean and along migration route.
  • Inter-annual variation in wind fields, and thus the surface currents, altered the migration pathways. (Illustrates how important weather patterns in spring are)
  • Likely suspects from headwaters to open ocean to be studied to indicate where mortality occurs
  • Certain areas in ocean where change in migration can be affected to be examined
  • Sharing the resources of the ocean with mackerel, herring and blue whiting as well as pressures from commercial exploitation of these stocks
  • Increased mortality strongly linked to impacts of climate change (++Celcius ), SSC’s and changes in the food supply in the ocean 
The presentation is easy to read and any questions you wish to ask can be directed to Salmon Watch Ireland at 

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Salmon Watch Ireland Annual Conference: 21st April 2018 at 1100: Plaza Hotel, Tallagh, Dublin 24

The annual conference hosted by Salmon Watch Ireland on the 21 April 2018 examines the ongoing debate as to whether the wild Atlantic salmon has a future in Ireland. It is an opportunity for all persons interested in this unique fish to engage with those concerned with the management of the resource. There will also be an opportunity to view the remarkable film "Lost at Sea" which should promote a large degree of discussion as to why Atlantic salmon continue to struggle in Ireland and elsewhere. 
This year we have deliberately included a substantial period for discussion where views on how salmon abundance might once again be achieved. This will be an open forum where the views of the audience and panel of speakers on ‘What is to be done’ can be discussed.

Conference agenda

1100 - Opening
1115 - ‘The state of the Irish salmon population’ – Dr Ciaran Byrne, Chief Executive, Inland Fisheries Ireland.

1200 – ‘The drivers of the decline in the salmon population’ -Dr Ken Whelan, Director Research, Atlantic Salmon Trust.

1245 – Lunch and the showing of the documentary film‘Atlantic salmon – Lost at sea’.

1415 – ‘What is to be done’ – Discussion facilitated by Eamon Cusack, Vice President, Institute of Fisheries Management.

1530 – Conclusions – Niall Greene, Chair of the Board, Salmon Watch Ireland.

Eventbrite Tickets Available Here

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Review of Environmental Impacts of Salmon Farming in Scotland

This review is a very important element in understanding the impacts of salmon farming in Scotland and is certainly important in the ongoing debate surrounding aquaculture in Ireland. It is a lengthy document but is fairly comprehensive and deserves scrutiny by concerned anglers and conservationists. Scottish Salmon Farming and its Environmental Impacts

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Impacts of salmon lice emanating from salmon farms on wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout

Very good review of widespread research on lice from salmon farms and their effect on salmonid stocks. The review deals very well with the few Marine Institute scientific papers which claim that lice are not a significant problem to  migrating smolts. It also deals with the effects on sea trout which are more sensitive throughout their lifecycle at sea from smolt to post smolt to adult trout. It is incumbent on all to help shift government focus away from the narrow field of research conducted by the Marine Institute and to once and for all demonstrate that even their own 1% effect is reflective of a 15 to 20 percent reduction in adult spawners in these times of poor marine survival. Sea Lice Report