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#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has partnered with Inland Fisheries Ireland and Local Authority Waters and Communities Office to create a new Tidy Towns Special Award for 2017.

The Waters and Communities Award and has been established to recognise communities who are taking positive steps towards raising awareness and showing appreciation of their local rivers, canals, lakes, streams, coast and ground water.

Four Regional Award winners will receive €1,000 each, with €500 each for four Regional Runner Up winners. There will also be a prize of €1,000 for the overall winner of the four regions.

All entries will be assessed by a panel of judges appointed by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland and the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office.

You can apply for this award by downloading and filling out the entry form (also available as Gaeilge) and returning it before the closing date of Thursday 25 May by email at [email protected] or post to:

TidyTowns Waters and Communities Award
TidyTowns Unit
Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs
Government Offices
Ballina, Co Mayo
F26 E8N6

Published in Inland Waterways

#Tourism - Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust is hosting an information event on opportunities in angling tourism for business owners and the public in Waterville and surrounding areas later this month.

The event, which takes place at The Sea Lodge in Waterville, Co Kerry on Thursday 27 April at 7.30pm, will focus on sharing results from a recent economic survey carried out in Waterville among angling tourists to the area.

The research reveals some key opportunities for business and service providers in the locality.

The Waterville Anglers Survey queried 207 anglers visiting the area and found that on average, angling visitors spend €644 per fishing trip, or €114 per day.

The impact of this expenditure is far reaching across the local community, with €451 spent on non-angling items such as accommodation, restaurants/cafés and groceries, and €193 of angling expenditure on items such as angling guides, boat hire and equipment.

This daily spend of anglers in Waterville (€114) far exceeds the spending of non-angling visitors to Ireland. Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Facts Report 2015 cites expenditure of non-angling visitors and holiday makers at €68 and €89 respectively per person per day in 2015.

The research, which was carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland with Waterville Lakes and River Trust, highlights the significant recreational and economic value of the fisheries resource to the area.

Rod Robinson, spokesperson for Waterville Lakes and Trust, said: “Waterville is a popular destination for anglers and this research shows us the huge economic contribution they make to Waterville and the potential opportunity which exists for the community.

“We are inviting the public, business owners and tourist operators to come along and hear more so that together we can grow our offering around the fisheries amenity.”

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, added: “We know at a national level that the fisheries resource contributes €836 million to the Irish economy annually but this local research also tells us that there is significant value of angling tourists to this community.

“We also note that the research once more confirms that angling visitors spend more than non-angling tourists and that they visit outside of the traditional tourist season, supporting local businesses and jobs while doing so.”

The information event is open to all to attend. For more details, contact Rod Robinson at Waterville Lakes and Trust via email at [email protected]

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#MarineNotice - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) will be carrying out scientific sampling using bag-nets and sentinel cages in Killary Harbour and surrounding waters from this week.

The bag-nets will start at the shore and extend into the water approximately 25 metres. The sentinel cages (nets) will be anchored near-shore and will not interfere with navigable waters.

All nets will be clearly marked with brightly coloured buoys with IFI identification so that any unintentional retrieval can be notified to IFI through the contact details provided.

Deployment operations will be carried out using an IFI RIB, Sea Breeze (Callsign EI-5724; MMSI 250002937), and will take place today Monday 3 April, subject to weather conditions. The nets will be checked daily (weather dependent) and all sampling nets and buoys will be retrieved on Friday 2 June.

A map and co-ordinates of the relevant locations are included in Marine Notice No 16 of 2017, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland says it is fully committed to the ongoing protection of the Gweebarra fishery in accordance with the High Court judgement of Justice Laffoy delivered on 19 December 2012.

Anglers wishing to fish the Gweebarra fishery from the opening of the angling season tomorrow (Saturday 1 April) are required to have a valid licence and permit, which are available from the village shop in Doochary, Glenties Angling Centre (phone 074 955 1141) or online from Donegal Angling Holidays.

A halt on fishery offence summonses, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, has prompted IFI to withdraw a number of cases, including those related to the Gweebarra fishery which were before the Donegal courts in recent days.

However, in the interim all current provisions and offences of the Inland Fisheries Acts continue in fill force and effect, and any alleged offenders remain liable to prosecution.

Published in Angling

#Bass - A Rosslare man pleaded guilty on two charges of illegal fishing for bass at a sitting of Wexford District Court on Tuesday 28 March.

Fisheries officer Stephen Byrne outlined how Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) intercepted Declan Ellard in possession of three wild bass and an 80m floating net at Carne Pier in Co Wexford on 14 April 2016. Ellard was also observed servicing the net using a boat.

Ellard had previously accepted under oath that he would never fish again at a Circuit Court hearing in 2012, during which he was prosecuted for illegal bass fishing by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA).

As a result of his prior conviction, prosecuting solicitor Caitriona Walsh sought an adjournment so that the matter could be dealt with in the Circuit Court with the consideration of the SFPA. Judge Chettle proceeded with the case and fined Ellard €400.

Net fishing for bass is illegal in Ireland due to low stock numbers, with angling for bass in the South East of Ireland on a ‘catch and release’ basis from January to June and a bag limit of one fish per day for anglers from July to December.

IFI and the SFPA have powers of prosecution for illegal bass fishing under the Bass (Conservation of Stocks) Regulation 2006. Those convicted of this environmental crime can be fined up to €5,000 per charge.

Angling contributes €836 million to the Irish economy annually and bass angling is a valuable resource to the South East of the country. Bass and sea anglers alone, including domestic and those visiting from abroad, have an annual expenditure of €168.6 million annually, which supports businesses and jobs in coastal communities nationwide.

David McInerney, director of the South Eastern River Basin District said: “This conviction under the Maritime Jurisdiction Act highlights that illegal fishing in the South-East will not be tolerated.

“Our fisheries officers are patrolling the waterways in overt and covert operations during the day and night with the aim of protecting and conserving this valuable fisheries resource which supports communities and provides a recreational amenity for all.”

Published in Angling

#Fishing - Local eel fishermen were celebrated recently at an information day hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland in Athlone.

The fishermen, who are involved in IFI’s Scientific Eel Fisheries in different parts of the country, attended the event which aimed to provide an update on the progress made through these fisheries and to recognise the contribution of the fishermen to date.

In total, there are 11 fishermen involved in the initiative, with many experienced in fishing for eels over several years.

Since last year, they have provided support to IFI by fishing for eel in a conservation-focused manner with a view to gathering necessary data which will help protect the species into the future.

Their local expertise and historical knowledge around eels in their areaa has given invaluable support to IFI during the set up and delivery of the Scientific Eel Fishery.

IFI commenced the process of setting up a network of scientific fisheries for eel around Ireland in 2016. These scientific fisheries cover the different life stages — glass eel, elver, yellow and silver eel — and are distributed in key catchments around Ireland.

The purpose of the fisheries is to increase the knowledge around eels in Ireland ahead of the next EU review of this endangered species, and to inform the management of eel populations which are currently in decline.

Dr Cathal Gallagher, head of R&D at IFI, said: “This important partnership between eel fishermen and research has one shared objective: to improve our knowledge of the state of the eel populations and to ensure their conservation for future generations.

“Inland Fisheries Ireland appreciates the benefit of citizen science programmes such as this one which will preserve the heritage of eel fishing and at the same time deliver on the research requirements needed to report to the EU. I would like to recognise and thank all the fishermen involved for their support.”

Citizen science is growing in popularity and encompasses many different ways in which citizens who are non-scientists are involved in scientific research projects.

The involvement of fishermen in the Scientific Eel Fisheries plays an important role in respecting the tradition and heritage of eel fishing in Ireland. Many of the fishermen come from families where eel fishing has been practised across several generations with local expertise and knowledge passed down through the years.

Published in Fishing

#Angling - A total of 79 angling initiatives — almost double the number of recipients in 2016 — will be supported to the tune of €30,000 in Inland Fisheries Ireland’s (IFI) 2017 Sponsorship Scheme.

This year’s recipients were decided with a focus on those which help grow Ireland’s angling tourism product and support novice anglers:

  • 19 international angling events which will be held in Ireland.
  • 15 Irish angling teams travelling overseas to international angling events.
  • 28 coaching/juvenile events aimed at novice and young anglers.
  • 16 national angling events held in Ireland for domestic participants.
  • 1 seminar which will help the exchange of information, ideas and practical experiences on fisheries management.

The angling groups, located in 19 counties across the country, will be supported through financial aid and where possible, through resource support from IFI staff.

The sponsorship scheme was announced in December with applications invited from anglers, angling clubs and organisations nationwide. In total, there were over 100 applications to this year’s fund.

Suzanne Campion, IFI head of business development, said: “We have a unique opportunity in Ireland when it comes to angling as a result of our beautiful landscapes and wild fish populations. This is coupled with a large number of engaged angling groups across the country.

“We are committed to supporting those groups in helping to increase participation in angling and to position Ireland as a premier national and international angling destination. This will grow the recreational availability and contribution of angling to communities across Ireland and will also support businesses and jobs in rural communities.”

IFI’s National Strategy for Angling Development aims to increase overseas angling visits from 163,000 in 2015 to 173,000 and increase domestic participation of 273,000 anglers annually by 0.5%.

Angling in Ireland is currently worth €836 million to Ireland’s economy annually, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs. If increase in participation is realised, angling could bring in an additional €53 million annually and support 18,000 jobs.

Find more more information on the initiatives awarded funding under the 2017 sponsorship scheme HERE.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Legal actions against poaching and other illegal angling and fisheries activity have hit a stumbling block after it was found that Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) does not have “explicit power to prosecute offences”.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has called a halt to any summonses currently before the courts until necessary amendments to the Fisheries Acts are enacted.

IFI says it is considering whether fresh summonses can be issued at a later stage when the amendments are in place. In the meantime, any alleged offenders remain liable to prosecution.

Published in Angling

#Jobs - Inland Fisheries Ireland’s R&D division has secured external funding to undertake a series of research projects, which are currently seeking to recruit a number of staff as research technicians and fisheries assistants.

Interviews will take place in mid to late March to fill a number of positions for periods of up to a maximum of 10 months’ duration during 2017, and a panel for subsequent positions will be compiled following interview.

All positions will be based at the current IFI head office in Dublin’s Citywest Business Campus.

Research Technician
The appointee will provide technical support to the Senior Research Officer (SRO) and project team in the compilation and analysis of data of relevant biotic and abiotic information for fish species in Irish lakes, rivers or estuaries, using standard fish sampling methodologies.

Principal duties and responsibilities include:

  • Data collection: Carry out and lead field surveys when necessary, collect data on the abundance, composition and age structure of fish populations from designated waterbodies, collect data on the distribution, biology and ecology of fish species in designated waterbodies.
  • Data analysis: Collate and input data into project databases and present data in report format as required, data mining, conduct statistical analyses (descriptive and analytical) of data sets, including using relevant statistical software, manage fisheries datasets for the project, assure quality of data including editing and verification of consistency, create tables, charts and graphics with narrative text, interpret data, analyse and prepare reports.
  • Reporting: Maintain raw data and all other records in a clear concise format and compile and maintain all records in a manner compatible with GIS.
  • Other duties: Liaise with the project team and stakeholders and attend/contribute to information meetings as required, liaise with other IFI staff working on related projects as required.

Requirements for this position include a relevant diploma or degree or equivalent, and a full driving licence valid in the State. Salary is at the first point of the technician scale (as at 1 January 2016): €32,231 to €51,717 (including 1 LSI).

Fisheries Assistant
The appointee or appointees will assist the Senior Research officer and team in the compilation and analysis of relevant biotic and abiotic information for fish species in Irish lakes, rivers or estuaries, using standard fish sampling methodologies.

The successful candidate or candidates will be expected to:

  • Assist on field surveys (if necessary).
  • Undertake processing of sample material and providing assistance to the SRO with sample analysis.
  • Assist in the processing of fish samples, collate scale, otolith and opercular bone samples to provide information on age profile and growth rates of fish species, and input data into IFI databases.
  • Maintain raw data and all other records in a clear concise format.
  • Compile and maintain all records in a manner compatible with GIS.
  • Liaise with other IFI staff working on related projects as required.

Requirements for this position include a Leaving Certificate or equivalent with minimum Grade C on at least two Higher Level papers, to include one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography or Maths, and a full driving licence valid in the State. Salary is at the first point of the fisheries officer/fisheries assistant scale (as at 1 January 16): €22,907 to €36,235 (including 2 LSI’s).

Applications, (a cover letter and up-to-date CV) should be sent to [email protected] by 5pm on Friday 3 March. Please quote either ‘Fish’ for Fisheries Assistant roles or ‘Tech’ for the Technician role,s depending on which you wish to apply for. Late applications will not be processed.

Short listing will be based on information provide in the cover letter and CV. Canvassing will disqualify. Inland Fisheries Ireland is an equal opportunities employer. All enquiries to [email protected]

Published in Jobs

#MarineScience – Women at Inland Fisheries Ireland who work across science projects are celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science today (11 February 2017).

International Day of Women and Girls in Science is a UN initiative which aims to help achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.

Staff working in IFI carry out scientific fisheries research, monitoring and investigations which aim to manage, improve and protect the inland fisheries resource.

Find out more about International Day of Women and Girls in Science here.

Published in Marine Science
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