International Year of the Salmon
In this International Year of the Salmon I wanted to set up a project that would appeal to Anglers and Non Anglers alike.
The Atlantic Salmon is called the King of Fish, and so my project is called ‘A Home Fit For A King’. It is taking place on the River Faughan in Northern Ireland. I am a Director of River Faughan Anglers Ltd, which controls and manages the entire length of the river.
We have a serious rubbish and plastic waste problem on our riverbanks and I feel I have a responsibility to do something about it.
I have been a salmon angler for over 30 years and I feel a social and moral obligation to address this issue on my local river and through the power of social media spread the word to get more people involved.
This all started in early January of this year on one of my winter walks along the Faughan checking up on spawning salmon, I have been doing these walks for over 20 years but this one ended up being a little different..
A pool that i visited had a number of bottles lying on the bank( both plastic and glass)
I got a bag and cleaned up the pool of these items but then something struck me….
The more I looked the more rubbish and debris I found and once seen it could not be unseen….
Action was needed.
I went to the next pool and the same issue existed….
I needed help.
My great friends Trevor Doherty and Chris O Doherty got involved and we set out to clear a few more pools.
We got our kids involved and put the call out to friends to help us out,
They responded superbly!!!
With 2019 being The Year of the Salmon i wanted to set up a anglers based project that could be rolled out in any river lough loch or stream,
Every person on this planet knows we have a plastics and rubbish issue in our waterways,
80% of all Ocean plastics originated on land,
We can all play a part in stopping this.
There are some incredible projects that are happening worldwide to deal with this issue but hopefully we have highlighted that this also exists on our own doorstep.
This is a project that can be carried out on the fishing off season and the more people, clubs and Associations that get involved the bigger the impact we can all have.
Thanks to the support of the local community and LOOP Tackle this project grew significantly over the spring, we ended up with a volunteer group of 20+, anglers, families and non anglers alike all gave up their personal time to join this initiative and help the fight against plastics.
When this project started the dream was to grow it from the river Faughan,
Our closest river is the River Dennett and at the invitation of Damien Dennett Anglers Devine I went along to a litter pick on the Dennett,
This was organized by Dennett Anglers and a local community group in the Dennett valley.
This was a truly inspirational day with loads of kids involved in the clean up on the roadside and a river Dennett tributary,
As you can see we collected a lot of rubbish in only a few hours and i think this really shows the extent of the problem even in the Countryside.
Home Fit for a king then grew wings and was adopted during a LOOP Aktiv day with Wildland Estate in the far north of Scotland, clearing up the beaches of the north coast of Scotland.
My dream is for this initiative to grow out internationally where the angling communities can take responsibility for their waterways and perhaps intercept much plastic before it enters the ocean and adds to the global plastics fight.
Finally to everyone who came along and played a part,
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
Each and everyone has been brilliant and you have all done a incredibly worthwhile thing.
We will be starting the 2019/2020 phase 2 in the next weeks