THE Chairman of FISSTA, the Federation Irish Salmon and Seatrout Anglers, Mr Edward Power, has welcomed the news from the Government of a 40% reduction in the use of the deadly driftnets by next year. However, this is across the EU and does not appear to apply to Ireland.

In announcing these new measures the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Mr Dermot Ahern is in broad agreement with FISSTA claims that the present use of driftnetting for salmon fishing is wiping out many species in the marine environment in which they operate.

Mr. Power notes that the Minister’s exact words are: “Thanks to Ireland‘s role as president of the EU we have been able to deliver on this new landmark deal. Too many dolphins (10,000) perish every year as a consequence of fishing programmes.”  

Mr Power now calls on Minister Ahern to deliver the same deal for the wild Atlantic salmon as he has now done for the dolphins and porpoises in the Baltic Sea.

The banning of driftnets in the Baltic Sea is a welcome start, but does not save one wild Atlantic salmon. 

To highlight the plight of the wild Atlantic salmon FISSTA state that Mr Ahern’s Department has just sanctioned once again the quotas to kill almost 200,000 EU bound salmon this season around the Irish coast. Nearly 90% of these will be killed by the same type of driftnets the Minister acknowledges to be a lethal killer of the dolphin and porpoise species.

It is of great concern not just to anglers, but also too many who cherish the wild Atlantic salmon to the Irish and EU countries, that the Irish Government have not followed the honest broker model in the UK and other countries by compensating or buying out the few remaining licences and saving the species from impending extinction. 

 FISSTA have campaigned for sustainable methods to save the salmon species for many years.

Two independent reports from Indecon in Dublin and Glasgow Caledonian University confirmed the FISSTA claims that salmon angling would return far greater revenue to the economies than netting, without endangering further the depleted numbers of salmon.

“Our international colleagues and FISSTA, now look forward to a similar announcement by the Minister to save our dwindling wild Atlantic salmon stocks under a similar EU fishing programme” said Mr Power.