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Protection of Salmon and Sea Trout 28 October 2004

Salmon and sea trout are welcome visitors to the Island's waters as they return to spawn in our rivers. There has been a general trend throughout western Europe for numbers of these migratory fish to decline in the past twenty years. Anything that can be done to halt this decline is important.

Before entering the Island's rivers, salmon and sea trout gather in the bays and near the mouths of rivers. For a number of years, it has been an offence to catch and kill migratory fish taken from the sea. This applies to fishing by rod and line as well as by nets.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's sea-fisheries bye-laws also ban the use of floating nets which are most likely to catch salmon and sea trout, even if they are not the intended catch.

Views are now invited on a proposal to introduce a conservation zone within which it will not be permitted to use a static net of any kind, other than a landing net in the course of angling.

The suggested conservation zone would run from just north of Peel, round the northern sandy coast of the Island and extend to just north of Ramsey. The use of static nets would be prohibited from the beach or out for a distance of 500 metres from the beach.

The intention is to prevent any further accidental catches of migratory fish in gill nets, as they die before they can be released.

A draft of a bye-law containing the proposed provisions has been prepared. Copies can be obtained from the Department's offices in Rose House, 51 - 59 Circular Road, Douglas (telephone 685857).

The Department would be pleased to receive views and comments on the proposal in writing on or before the 26th November 2004.

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