04/10/2002

Minister vows to restore salmon runs

Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister, Michael McGimpsey, today emphasised his determination to restore salmon runs in the River Bush.

The Minister visited the River Bush Salmon Station where he viewed work being carried out to tackle the decline in the numbers of stock – a problem not confined to Northern Ireland.

Mr McGimpsey said: “Concerns have been expressed that the operation of facilities at the station is harmful to salmon and is the cause of declining runs of fish to the river.

“There is no evidence to support this. Indeed, it is because of the counting facilities here that we have been able to identify the real causes of the problem.

“It has been established that the degradation of the river has led to reduced survival rates of juvenile salmon in freshwater and a significant decline in marine survival has resulted in fewer fish returning to the River Bush to spawn.”

The Minister pointed out that his department had introduced a range of measures and programmes to address this decline such as the buy-out of coastal nets and by restricting commercial and angling exploitation.

He said that these particular measures were being implemented throughout the area administered by the Fisheries Conservancy Board and that they would have a positive effect on the River Bush.

Other steps taken included the employment of a river warden to detect and report pollution, the refurbishment of the habitat and a restocking programme.

Afterwards, Mr McGimpsey travelled to Stranocum to watch the restocking programme in action.

He added: “This year alone, the hatchery at Bushmills has provided more than half a million juvenile salmon specifically for restocking the Bush.

“This is evidence of our determination to do all we can to restore salmon runs to the river and I am confident that the work being done will go a long way towards achieving that objective.”

(SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

25 November 2020
Up To Three Households Allowed To Mix Over Christmas
Up to three households could be allowed to mix over the Christmas period, under a set of temporary arrangements to be agreed by the Executive. First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill have signalled temporary arrangements that will be put in place between 23 and 27 December.
21 October 2021
Health Minister Welcomes Announcement On COVID-19 Antivirals
The announcement that two new COVID-19 antivirals could be available this winter has been welcomed by Health Minister Robin Swann. The Minister said: "I am delighted by the announcement of two new COVID-19 antivirals.
09 June 2021
Paul Givan Named As NI's New First Minister
DUP leader Edwin Poots has named Paul Givan as his choice for Northern Ireland's next First Minister. The 39-year-old assembly member represents Poots' own Lagan Valley constituency and backed Poots in his leadership campaign.
08 July 2010
Ministers 'In The Swim' At Salmon Facility
Things were going swimmingly today in an 'away day' with a difference as Stormont Ministers visited the salmon research station in Bushmills. NI Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) Minister Nelson McCausland and Environment Minister Edwin Poots were attending the annual River Bush Salmon Station Open Day.
16 July 2021
Mobile Vaccination Centre Set Up At Larne FC Home Game
Ministers have united to promote Northern Ireland's ongoing vaccination programme. First Minister Paul Givan and Health Minister Robin Swann have visited a mobile vaccination clinic in Larne.