“Gone fishing!”

Birgitta went fishing – wild salmon fishing on the river Nore in County Kilkenny in the south-east of Ireland, to be exact. There she was able to witness snapnet-fishing which is an age-old technique used to catch salmon in the rivers.

The picture shows Mick Murphy, a salmon fisherman, with Birgitta in a flat-bottomed, wooden boat called Nore cot.

Snapnet-fishing is a time-consuming technique, but one that does not traumatise or stress the salmon. A net is drawn between two cots, and when movement in the net indicates that there are fish trapped in it, the fishermen haul up the lower end of the net in one swift movement. Fishing does not get any more sustainable and gentle than this!

After the introduction of the commercial driftnet fishing ban in Irish waters in 2006, the salmon stocks have reached a much healthier level. For this reason, the Inland Fisheries Board asked local fishermen to fish small and clearly defined amounts of salmon for stock management purposes: after the conservation stock limit of salmon (i.e. the critical number necessary for the conservation of the species) lay their eggs in the shallow waters of the rivers, these “nests” would be greatly disturbed by too great a number of salmon coming up the rivers.

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