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This map contains four layers which can be turned on and off. The info windows only display if all four layers are on. The shapefiles and data are all freely available for download.


Location of Salmon Rivers

A river is recognised as a distinct river if it discharges directly into the sea or at a point below the High Water Mark. A river is counted as a salmon river if it is a significant producer of salmon and is estimated to have at least one hundred spawning fish. In 2003 there were 173 rivers categorised as salmon rivers. In 2005 this was reduced to 148 salmon rivers - the remainder contained sea trout and/or were not significant producers of salmon. (Source NASCO) We have mapped all 173 rivers on the grounds that they contain salmonid species. We tried to source the location of the Salmon Rivers from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) but they said they did not have this data and advised us to go to the OSI map - viewer and get the co-ordinates by finding the river on the maps and entering them into a database. This is what we did as accurately as possible and we provide the data as a csv file and as a shapefile.

Buffer Zone

Published research has shown that significant correlations between lice abundance on farms and wild sea trout repeated over several years in Ireland suggested that lice may disperse for up to 30 km . Field data from British Columbia and Scotland, supported by dispersal models, indicated that lice larvae could be transported 30 km. A review of dispersal distances of larvae of other marine species in relation to the range of typical coastal ocean current conditions further suggested that lice larvae may disperse an average of 27 km (11–45 km range) over 5–15 days, depending on current velocity. It has been suggested that salmon farms should not be located within 20km of a salmon river. We have provided a 20km buffer around the mouth of each salmon river in two formats. One has each individual buffer and the other has dissolved them into one unit.

Conservation Status of Salmon Rivers

The information on the conservation status of Salmon Rivers is also available from IFI. We requested the data in a spreadsheet,database or comma separated values (csv) - csv format is the most common import and export format for spreadsheets and databases - but were provided with pdfs. The data had to be entered into a table so that it could be linked to the geo-referenced data that had been created for the location of the salmon rivers. Salmon rivers that are not significant producers of salmon are not assessed for conservation status and are not included. We provide a csv file and a shapefile.

Water Quality of Salmon Rivers

The Water Quality data was sourced from the data section on the EPA geoportal . The water quality data relating to salmon rivers with conservation status had to be extracted. To do this the river names in the EPA dataset had to be compared to the river names provided for the salmon rivers and corrected so that the tables could relate to each other. Not all salmon rivers were included in the water quality data or they may have had different names and could not be identified. Salmon Rivers from inland areas were not all included. The last q-value and the year of the most recent sample were used for mapping purposes. We provide a csv file and a shapefile of the Q-values for the salmon rivers that we could identify.

Location of Salmon Farms

The location of salmon farms are indicated on the Marine Institute website. However the actual coordinates are only available from the aquaculture or foreshore licences. These had to be entered into a table and converted into point data. From this point data polygons were created and are available as a shapefile. Data relating to each salmon farm (e.g. licence holder, licence expiry date etc) is provided as a csv file.

Sea Lice Data

Sea Lice data is available from the Marine Institute in their annual sea lice reports which are provided in pdf format. Due to the amount of data a request was made for the sea lice data to be provided in a format that could be sorted and analysed which could then be linked to the salmon farm data. The request was refused by the Marine Institute. The data is being manually entered into a table and this data will be updated as progress is made.

Other Data

We are currently looking at the enforcement of the licence conditions and have just received data for all sites where the licence has expired. Under current legislation the salmon farms can continue to operate but only under the terms of the expired licence. Preliminary observations show that a significant number of salmon farms are operating outside the terms of their licences and no enforcement actions are taken despite recommendations made by the inspector(s). The files will be scanned and made available as soon as possible.


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