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Saving our Salmon

Last week the Irish Examiner published an article about the reopening of a wild salmon fishery in Castlemaine Harbour in North Kerry.

The next day the same paper had a furious editorial condemning the decision.

In Saturday’s edition, there were two letters published, one from Aidan Barry, CEO of the SWRFB and the other from John O’Donoghue T.D.

The news about the fishery reopening really is good and does truly reflect the benefits of the drift net ban in 2007.

What the writer of the editorial in the Examiner completely misses is the ability that the Fisheries Boards now have to manage stocks effectively. The indiscriminate nature of the drift net fishery has gone, and sound management of individual river systems is now being implemented.

The simple fact is that each river has the capacity to handle a certain amount of spawning salmon.  When that number of salmon has entered the system, then anything over that number is surplus and can be harvested. The Fisheries Boards have the knowledge, information and ability to ensure that only the surplus is harvested. The division of the surplus between anglers and nets-men will probably always be contentious but …..!

Over the last 30 years, the record of the Irish Government in looking after the wild salmon stocks was abysmal; however, since the scales were lifted from their eyes in 2007, they have listened and have acted upon the advice  from the scientific “body”  which government had been ignoring up to then.

We hope that you read the article, editorial and letters in the links above, and that you will be optimistic that Ireland is now doing its best to repair the damage of the last thirty years.

Perhaps one day, the Irish Smoked Wild Atlantic Salmon Presidium may once again take part in Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre.

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Terra Madre 2008 and Salone del Gusto

Bags almost packed and last minute bits and pieces sorted before heading out to Turin for my fourth visit to Salone del Gusto and third to Terra Madre

For anyone who has any interest in real food, this is one of the events that really inspires one to persevere with doing battle with the regulators, civil servants, bankers and all those who conspire to make the life of food producers hard! 

Go to the Salone dl Gusto and Terra Madre websites and see what’s going on. I believe that there will be live video feeds as well.

And remember to check in to Slow Food Ireland for local events here in Ireland, or Slow Food for international links.

If I can get to the Internet, I’ll attempt to keep these posts live whilst there.

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Terra Madre on Nationwide

RTE have done Slow Food‘s Terra Madre Ireland event proud with tonight’s edition of Nationwide.

Some good footage captured  the atmosphere surrounding those four days last week in Waterford. It was a pity that they didn’t show some footage of the working sessions on the Friday which encapsulated the real meaning of Terra Madre, where people of many different walks and perspectives met to discuss and propose some answers to the way which we, the producers, and you, the co-producers, should be going forward.

Have a look at the Terra Madre web site for further details of the four days and do contribute to some of the Forum’s threads. As a co-producer, your voice is just as important as the producers.

And if you want to do something really special at the end of October, head out to Turin for Salone del Gusto.

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Terra Madre Ireland – Mother Earth

On Thursday next, Waterford is destined to be the focus of anyone with an interest in food with a capital “F”.

To find out full details and how to participate go to

One interesting aspect is an Online Forum where you can leave a comment on up to 50 different topics. These comments and contributions will be incorporated into the 50 workshops that will be held on the Friday.

In order to make it a real forum, please log on and add your twopence worth.