Call to disband failed “Shannon Fishery Partnership”

The members of the so-called Shannon Fishery Partnership are meeting in Killaloe today for their annual Christmas dinner. On this day it really is time to call a day on this failed group – which has descended into little more than a back-slapping junket for those involved.

It is time to now disband this failed group and its junkets, and replace it with an effective, democratic and transparent agency to restore the salmon runs on the River Shannon

This group has achieved nothing significant since it was formed in 2011 with salmon runs on the Shannon currently less than 5% of the conservation escapement target, and no credible plan for addressing the fish passage problems. Catch and release salmon angling is banned while ESB continue their hydroelectric operations on the river without restriction. Traditional eel fishing is also prohibited, but the ESB still kill thousands of silver eels every month at their turbines. Elver migration has been effectively blocked and it was exposed in 2014 that the ESB were not even operating an elver trap. But this was covered-up by ESB and IFI with a ridiculous claim that the traps were down for “just two hours maintenance” – which went unchallenged by this incompetent group.

Replace it with an effective, democratic and transparent agency to restore the salmon runs on the River Shannon

This year the ESB prioritized installing a boom in the tailrace – to prevent proper independent scrutiny of their elver trapping efforts – rather than completing agreed elver trap upgrades. In the long lunch today at Killaloe issues such as fish passage and reviewing water management in the Lower River Shannon SAC will be a million miles away.

It is time to now disband this failed group and its junkets, and replace it with an effective, democratic and transparent agency to restore the salmon runs on the River Shannon, eel stocks in the Shannon lakes, and the conservation status of the Lower River Shannon SAC.

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