CONFUSING IRISH FISHERY STATISTICS
HAVING JUST read the March issue I was struck by your editorial on the catchand-release proposals. I have started to fish for salmon this year on the Nore river in the south of Ireland, which has a catch-and-release-only policy. It also has a single barbless hook restriction and this year banned worms as bait. The Slaney is now closed for salmon fishing, which is worrying for us on the Nore. This got me wondering about the statistics of salmon catches in Ireland so I looked at the Fisheries Ireland website and found data going back to 2001 and up to 2015, which at one stage states that salmon harvest is down by 91 per cent. So we had better give up now. That is until you look at the rod-and-line stats where the catch results have remained relatively stable at about 24,000 per year while salmon licences have decreased from 32,814 in 2001 to 18,460 in 2015. Less fishermen catching more fish cannot be. Last year I went to the Drowes river for a week. I caught none but saw at least 80. Only two had been landed that week compared to 130 the week before. They used to ask “Do all liars fish or are all fishermen liars?” but it is also said “There are lies, damned lies and statistics”. Kevin Meagher, Kilkenny
A salmon comes to the net on the Nore: is fishing under threat on the river?