Richard Corrigan: 'Use the law to save these fish. They taste gorgeous'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

One forages naturally in the wild, one is farmed in pens.

I applaud the EU's action with the drift nets. They stop an awful lot of salmon getting up rivers in Ireland, never mind England. The catches in Ireland are very much down and the drift nets are a huge problem.

But they are not the only problem. The wild salmon catch has been down and down over the past few years, so the figures that only 10 rivers can support a population don't surprise me. I knew there was a problem 20 years ago.

Farmed fish on a lot of these rivers are so covered with lice that, when they are knocked off, they create clouds of lice which the young wild salmon have to swim through. This is having a huge effect on stocks. All wild salmon would have lice on them from the sea - but only three lice per fish. Now they have around 12 on them. It weakens the fish because the lice are parasites.

There is one organic farm, Claire Island, which is way out to sea. That is a good alternative, but not a substitute.

The law has to come down heavily and I would support anything that would bring stocks back. Nature can only cope with so much.

Richard Corrigan is the Michelin-starred chef of Lindsay House in London