DunmoreFishingThe “decimation” of Waterford’s fishing industry saw a dramatic reduction in the number of commercial salmon licences issued locally from 183 in 2006 to just nine last year.

Fine Gael Deputy John Deasy has released figures showing there are only 82 fishing vessels currently licensed and registered to persons with addresses in Waterford. That amounts to 3.8% of the national fishing fleet of 2,129 vessels.

“The figure at first glance is very low. But the number in Waterford hasn’t changed a great deal over the past few years,” he says. “I think you need to go back 20 years and consider the amount of families who back then were making a living from the sea. Over that period of time we have seen a sharp reduction in licensed vessels in Waterford. The industry has been badly diminished by over-regulation in that time period.”