Sea trout and the industry behind it have a significant economic and cultural importance in Ireland with potential for further development. This coincides with serious concerns about the decline in sea trout stock in some systems nationally, most particularly along the western seaboard.
This requires the future management of sea trout to be underpinned by a comprehensive policy. The Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland has commenced the process of developing this policy to help ensure the development of the species in the country.
Sea trout in Ireland has traditionally been closely identified with salmon and this consultation process will consider the requirement of establishing a separate identity for sea trout.
The policy aims to make recommendations which will inform a range of issues. These issues include sustainable management of stock and any possible legislative changes that may emerge in the future.
There are Other areas to be addressed also, these will include protection and conservation, stock assessment, and education and promotion.
Sea trout leave freshwater after two years while still young. They then enter marine waters where they feed heavily before returning to freshwater to mate. This makes the sea trout a valuable angling fish which occurs in most coastal rivers and inshore waters.
Inland Fisheries Ireland also spoke of their intent to take all opinions on board from stakeholders, regarding the future management of the species and fisheries.
They encourage stakeholder’s engagement through this public consultation process, and advise all Interested parties to make submissions of their own which will be reviewed and considered by the Sea Trout Policy Group. This group comprises of a range of representatives with great experience of sea trout within Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Ciaran Byrne, who is CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, spoke of the complexity of the breed and said this policy will incorporate ideas from all round the industry, he said “The sea trout is a complex migratory fish frequenting freshwater, estuaries and marine waters. The biodiversity, economic and cultural value of this type of fish requires a policy direction to manage this precious resource sustainably and to conserve it into the future. This public consultation, and ultimately the policy recommendations which will emerge, will capture stakeholder views and incorporate the broad scope of management issues that will underpin future policy.”
For more Information on the consultation please visit http://www.fisheriesireland.ie/Public-Consultation/sea-trout-policy-development.html or contact any Inland Fisheries Ireland office.
The public consultation period will run for five weeks until Wednesday, 12th July 2017. All submissions must be made in writing and will be published on the Inland Fisheries Ireland website www.fisheriesireland.ie. Submissions should be marked ‘Public Consultation – Sea Trout Policy’ and can be submitted by email (SEATROUTPOLICY@fisheriesireland.ie) or by post to Sea Trout Policy, Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 Y265.