Paul Irwin 0

Roe Anglers Against Hydroelectric Schemes

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Hydroelectric Schemes Damaging Local Rivers

Local anglers and others farther afield, have been vehemently protesting at damage to local rivers by hydroelectric schemes. The schemes are being promoted by the NI Environment Agency to meet Government targets on renewable energy, but anglers say not enough protection is being given to the rivers.

There is insufficient protection by The DOENI Planning Service and NI Environment Agency for fisheries in hydroelectric scheme proposals. The Ulster Angling Federation have been able to establish that DCAL, who are the fisheries department responsible, are not legally competent to comment on salmon migration issues, with the exception of screens/fish passes as these are set out in the 1966 Fisheries Act. On all other fish migration issues they have no legal competence to provide an opinion. This has been confirmed by DCAL. Presently The DOENI Planning Service and NI Environment Agency approve many hydroelectric schemes without examination of fishery issues by developers, despite the DCAL Committee previously recommending that all such developments should be subject to independent Environmental Impact Analysis.

Even if most of the possible hydroelectric sites available are developed, hydro electricity will probably contribute less than 1 % of our electricity needs, so why are our precious salmon and trout rivers being sacrificed?

The Loughs Agency and anglers in the Ulster Angling Federation have been trying to give some degree of protection to the rivers, but The DOENI Planning Service choose to ignore their submissions and instead follow the NI Environment Agency , which has now become the “Industrial Development Board” for hydroelectricity, with insufficient protection for rivers.

At a time when salmon runs are under great pressure, it is madness to be erecting new concrete dams across our rivers, and taking most of the water out of the river, leading to considerable stretches of river with little flow left. Typically NIEA allow up to 70 % of the water to be taken out of the river, and in some cases up to 90%. This leaves considerable lengths of stream with a greatly reduced flow which is harmful to fish, and their annual migrations.

Please take the time to sign this petition and use your voice to protest for the protection of the River Roe and its fish stocks.


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