Belfast Telegraph

Appeal to anglers on dwindling salmon

By Linda Stewart

Less than 5% of Northern Ireland's salmon are surviving their migration at sea to return home to spawn.

That's the shocking figure revealed by Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin, who is urging fishermen and anglers to quit catching the threatened fish in a voluntary measure to help the species survive.

Scientists at Bushmills salmon station have found that only 5% of salmon are surviving the marine migration, compared to 30% before 1997.

Urging fishermen and anglers to support a voluntary ban on catching salmon, the minister said: "The continued commercial exploitation of wild Atlantic salmon and killing of salmon caught by rod and line in the DCAL jurisdiction is untenable. We have to take further steps to conserve salmon populations."

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure is appealing to operators of coastal fishing engines not to apply for 2012 licences and is asking anglers to practise catch and release with salmon.

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