Ghost Boats and Human Freight: The Social Wellbeing Impacts of the Salmon Ban on Lough Foyle’s Fishing Communities

  • Easkey Britton
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 9)


In response to the alarming decline of wild Irish Atlantic salmonstocks (Salmosalar) and an EU-led ban on drift-netting, a recent moratorium on the commercial driftnet fishery for salmon in Ireland was introduced. Recognising a lack of investigation of the impacts of fisheries conservation policy from a user-perspective within EU fisheries management, prior to or after implementation, this chapter considers how the wellbeing of traditional salmon drift-net fishers or drifters and their community is affected by the loss of this fishery. The study is set in the cross-border area of Lough Foyle between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. A social wellbeing approach provides the analytical framework for assessing the impacts and unintended consequences of a pro-conservation policy instrument for human wellbeing and ecosystem health, such as the out-migration of youth or ‘human freight’ and abandoned ‘ghost’ boats. Using empirical evidence the chapter explores micro-scale drivers that can affect the macro-scale implementation of a policy in greater depth. The chapter concludes with a vision for the future from a resource-user perspective, highlighting areas of common ground that may help foster a sustainable way forward.


Social wellbeing Coastal livelihoods Inshore fisheries Atlantic salmon Lough Foyle Drift net ban Fisheries management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of UlsterColeraine, Co. LondonderryIreland

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