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A Long Awakening-Fisheries Board underlines economic benefit of Salmon Angling

Hard on the efforts described in the previous article on the Erne River Restoration Project. Ireland's Central Fisheries Board has released a report stressing the economic benefits to be gained from the promotion of salmon angling for tourists.

If ever a case can appeal to the present generation interested more in euro and dollar earnings than in the fate of wild salmon stocks, it is to be found in this report.

The angling sector is projected to net 92 million over the next ten years, and the commercial sector only 36 million.

The Board points out that salmon anglers, the home grown variety and the incoming tourists, between them spend 10.6 million annually in pursuit of the king of fish, and commercial salmon fishing is worth just 4.3 million.

The same contrast in value was noted by T. K. Whitaker of the Salmon Research Trust of Ireland years ago. It is heartening that the Central Fisheries Board has awakened to the fact. But will it act?

It is calling for "a rebalancing of exploitation between the commercial and angling sectors".

It speaks of reducing catch quotas for commercial salmon fishing.

It talks of voluntary buy-outs of commercial net fishermen.

But will the Central Board support, in whatever way is open to it, the furtherance of the Erne River Restoration Project and the Sminver Stream linkup with Lough Bracken?

More pointedly, will its members lobby on behalf of a project that will be of real benefit to both parts of Ireland, economically and ecologically?


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