Sea Echoes: Concern over declining fish stocks

Sea Echoes: Concern over declining fish stocks
Where have all the mackerel gone from Youghal.

Sixty-one-year-old William Walsh is a long-time angler who is very interested in mackerel. But he is concerned that they are declining.

He wrote to me this week, a letter which raises questions to which I don’t have an answer but would be interested to hear the views of other anglers and fishermen. 

This is what he wrote: “My name is William Walsh and I live in Fair Hill, Cork. I am a fisherman all my life and normally fish for trout, but every summer I fish for mackerel in Youghal and I have taught my son and daughter, my grandson, my nephews, my brother-in-laws and lots of other people how to fish for mackerel there. The enjoyment they got and the pleasure I got from watching them catching mackerel was priceless and holds great memories for all of us."

“However over the last few years in Youghal, the mackerel were arriving later each year, There is less of them arriving and they were getting smaller each year for about the last four or five years. Then this year, for the first time ever, no mackerel arrived at all. We checked every day – nothing. We spoke to other anglers. Same story - nothing. We spoke to the trawlermen - no mackerel for them either or very few out at sea when catching them for bait.

“Very strange - first year ever no mackerel showed up in Youghal. I have a friend who spends the summer in Sherkin Island who also fishes for mackerel. So I asked him how the mackerel fishing went this year.

“Same story - no mackerel showed up this year in Sherkin Island either. How strange. Is it the factory ships (are the cause). The signs were coming for the last few years so will mackerel fishing for holidaymakers become a thing of the past, another part of our heritage gone? Like the Buffalo in North America, 30 million reduced to 30, almost wiped out or the Youghal Train, also just a memory now.” 

William says he would like to hear more views about this and so would I. Have anglers in any other areas found the same situation about mackerel or did this only happen at Youghal and Sherkin?


A Kinsale woman has been appointed to the board of Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, the Islands’ Federation, which is the representative body for the offshore islands. 

Cora Keating. who is originally from Kinsale, has lived on Clare Island at the entrance to Clew Bay in County Mayo since 2013 and has also taken on the job of Community Development Co-ordinator with the island’s development company. 

She moved to the island with her islander partner and worked on the establishment of Clare Island Lighthouse as a boutique accommodation and food business. She is also a member of the Clare Island Tourism Group, has helped to establish and run the Clare Island Film Festival and has been involved in several festivals and events.


Harbourside village national school, Shanbally NS, has won the National Inclusion Award organised by the Cara Centre for increasing physical activity opportunities for people with a disability. This Primary School won the award in the Education category which included secondary schools and third level institutions.


The elevation of Union Hall to become the 45 th permanent lifeboat station on the Irish coastline is well deserved.

 Email:  Tomorrow in ECHO SPORT - Better future for sailing reported at SCORA AGM

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