Government analysing impact of seals on Foyle salmon

Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

A new report on the impact seals are having on the salmon and trout population in the Foyle will be published in the New Year, according to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the South.

A survey of both grey and harbour seals on the western shores of Lough Foyle, was collected in August of this year and is currently undergoing analysis. A final report is expected in 2018.

The Dublin government has an obligation to protect seals under the EU Habitats Directive.

It says the amount of fish eaten by seals needs to be seen in the context of numbers removed through commercial fishing.

“In relation to seal predation on salmonids, a study published in 2014 by Inland Fisheries Ireland, focusing on two estuaries of significance for native salmon, found considerable differences in the amount of salmonids in the diet of locally occurring seals and concluded that the removal of salmonids by seals and other predators must be placed in the context of the amount removed by fisheries,” it stated.