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Norway alert on lice

Gerry Heaslip's 'fish of a lifetime' from the River Dodder in Dublin. The trout weighed 3kg (6lb 9oz) and fell to a Peter Ross minnow pattern size 12, during the Miami Cup.

Gerry Heaslip's 'fish of a lifetime' from the River Dodder in Dublin.

A bit of a heads up … shortly, Damien Gillis – the superb producer of outdoor videos – and I will soon be announcing an undertaking which we’re very excited about. Stay tuned!

Premier Campbell and his henchmen along with the federal minister, Gail Shea, continue to deny the heavy impact of sea lice from fish farms on migrating wild salmon. When you read the following report from Norway remember that our migrating salmon smolts are smaller than the Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout in Europe thus even more vulnerable.

I must tell you that I returned from a short holiday in London thoroughly re-energized so despoilers of the environment will be hearing from me and colleagues this year BIG TIME. My every sense tells me that the public is getting angrier by the day at what they see happening to our beautiful province which means that to keep the pressure on, please send this and other information to your address book!

Here’s an article that appeared in the Irish Times on December 28, 2009:

Norway alert on lice

BY DEREK EVANS

NORWAY’S Directorate for Nature Management and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Nina) have issued a warning that salmon farming in Norway must be reduced during 2010.

The warning is directed to the new Minister for Fisheries, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, a former head of the Norwegian salmon farming association and the owner of a salmon farm.

According to Norwegian press reports, Nina estimates that the current level of fish farming in Norway is six to seven times the sustainable limit. There are now 350 million farmed salmon in pens along the Norwegian coast, implying a sea lice burden of 300 to 350 million.

Sea lice are a major threat to migrating juvenile salmon – and therefore to the survival of wild stocks generally.

The Norwegian Salmon Association has said the situation is “a disaster”. It has also drawn attention to the increased resistance of sea lice to the main chemical treatment being used. They have called for a halt to further growth for the industry.

While the levels of farmed salmon production in Ireland are nowhere near those of Norway, farms do tend to be concentrated in particular areas, according to Salmon Watch Ireland.

The damage inflicted on migrating juvenile salmon by sea-lice concentrations generated by farms has also been researched by Irish scientists, and with conclusions similar to those carried out in Norway and Scotland.

Salmon Watch Ireland has lodged a complaint with the EU Commission about the problem, arguing that the Government is failing to apply the terms of the EU Habitats Directive to the management of salmon farms.

The Minister for Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan, and the Minister for Finance, his brother Brian, have co-signed an order cutting rod angling licence fees for 2010 by 10 per cent.

Proceeds from the new licence fees will be invested in management initiatives designed to rehabilitate wild salmon stocks and habitats. The licence includes a salmon conservation levy equivalent to 50 per cent of the licence fee.

“The reduction should enhance fishing as a recreational activity and supports the fisheries boards’ efforts toward building angling tourism numbers,” said Conor Lenihan. Licence fees for 2010 are: All regions (A): €120; one region (B): €58; 21-day (R): €46; 1-day (S): €32; juvenile (P): €18.

Salmon angling gets under way this Friday on a limited number of rivers and loughs. The Drowes River in Co Leitrim will take precedence.

Rarely does a season pass without a fish being taken on opening day.

The Owencarrow and Lackagh rivers also open on New Year’s Day in the northern region and trolling will be the preferred method on Lough Gill in Co Sligo.

In Dublin, the River Liffey is a different kettle of fish. Traditionally a first-day starter, however, for the past three years, salmon angling was suspended because of low sustainable levels.

Original article: Norway alert on lice

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