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Two shellfish projects will benefit among the awards made under the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s 2021 call for research proposals.

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue and Minster of State Martin Heydon jointly announced the awards today (Monday 6 December), with more than €20 million being awarded to 24 research projects across the agrifood, aquaculture and forestry sectors — some funded in conjunction with DAERA in Northern Ireland.

At the Marine Institute, a project led by Dave Clarke to study the increasing rusk of paralytic shellfish poisoning events in Ireland receives a total of €599,580.73.

In collaboration with UCD and GMIT, this project investigates the increasing abundance and distribution of paralytic shellfish toxins, a highly potent group of naturally occurring marine toxins which can occur in shellfish (mussels, oysters, clams, cockles) which, when present, can cause serious illness and fatalities to humans if consumed, posing a serious risk to food safety.

A comprehensive sampling and analytical programme targeting these toxins in the water, sediment and shellfish will be conducted in aquaculture production areas, to identify the causes, timing, environmental factors and mechanistic pathways of toxin occurrence.

It’s expected the results will allow for risk management strategies and predictive forecasting tools to be implemented as an early warning system for the aquaculture industry and regulatory competent authorities, thus providing increased assurances to consumer safety and supporting the integrity, quality and commercial reputation of Irish shellfish.

Elsewhere, Prof Sarah Culloty of University College Cork is collaborating with the Marine Institute on bridging research and practice to improve the future sustainability and growth of the Irish bivalve industry. This project receives a total of €599,444.92.

Shellfish have a significant socio-economic and ecological role to play in Irish marine coastal communities and environments. Mussels, oysters, and cockles contribute to at least 65% of marine aquaculture volume and play a substantial role in water quality improvement, sediment stabilisation, and biodiversity enhancement.

Disease and climate change represent a serious threat to the maintenance and sustainable growth of this sector.

This project will adopt an all-island grassroots approach to identify the key drivers contributing to and inhibiting growth in this sector currently and into the future. The socio-economic and ecosystem services provided by this industry will also be evaluated. Knowledge transfer will be a crucial output.

Mitigation strategies, guidelines and recommendations will be provided to stakeholder communities, including policy/regulatory end users, to reduce the impact of risks that the Irish shellfish sector faces currently and into the future.

Published in Aquaculture
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The State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats has launching a funding call of up to €1 million to support vital conservation projects around the country.

Since 2016, more than €5 million in grants have been awarded to over 250 projects throughout Ireland under funds administered by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Now eligible angling clubs, fishery owners and other stakeholders are invited to apply for funding to support fisheries conservation projects in their local areas through the 2022 Habitats and Conservation Fund scheme, which was launched this past Tuesday 9 November.

Priority will be given to projects that focus on habitat rehabilitation and conservation, such as improving water quality, rehabilitating damaged habitats and helping fish overcome physical barriers like impassable weirs.

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has welcomed the funding call and is encouraging eligible groups and stakeholders to apply.

“The Habitats and Conservation Scheme is a great example of how we can encourage and support the stewardship role of managing our natural resources across the country,” he said. “This important environmental scheme supports angling clubs, fishery owners, and stakeholders — in helping them to improve damaged habitats, water quality and fish passage.

“The works and studies supported by the scheme in the future will also result in wider benefits for the environment. As the funding call is now open, I would encourage any eligible group or stakeholder to contact Inland Fisheries Ireland and express their interest in applying for this grant before the deadline.”

In 2021, a total of €785,604 in funding was approved for 18 projects, based in Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Wexford, Westmeath and Wicklow.

Examples included the construction of rock ramp passages, to make it easier for fish to migrate upstream and downstream of impassable weirs and the installation of fencing to improve water quality. This was done by stopping livestock from entering the river and providing them with alternative sources of drinking water.

Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development, said that protecting and conserving fish species like Atlantic salmon and sea trout was critical to the overall health of the country’s eco-system.

“Damaged riverine habitats can lead to poorer water quality, climate change can lead to rising water temperatures and invasive species can mean even more threats to biodiversity,” she said. :These are having a damaging impact on our rivers and lakes and on all species that depend on them for survival.

“Under the Habitats and Conservation Scheme, made possible through fishing licence income, groups can now apply for grants to fund projects and measures that benefit the conservation of freshwater fish and habitats.”

As part of a new two-step process, all applicants must firstly complete an ‘Expression of Interest’ application on IFI’s online grant management portal before 5,30pm on Friday 17 December.

After the expression of interest has been completed, full applications must then be submitted to IFI via the online grant management portal by 5.30pm on Friday 28 January 2022.

An information guide about the Habitats and Conservation Funding Call 2022 is available to download from the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

Kayaking in Carlow and swimming in Lough Corrib are among some 189 projects to benefit as part of a €3.5 million investment in adventure and rural tourism.

The State funding being rolled out in partnership with Fáilte Ireland under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) promises to further enhance Ireland’s natural amenities and support rural Ireland as a destination for adventure tourism.

Projects across every county have been chosen for investment of up to €20,000 under Measure 1 of the scheme. Funding for larger projects under Measure 2 and 3 of the scheme will be announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys in the coming weeks.

Among the projects being funded in this round are improvements to river access to enhance the overall experience at Tullow Kayaking Club in Co Carlow (€20,000) and maintenance of the swimming area, including provision of lifebuoys, at Annaghdown Pier on Lough Corrib in Co Galway (€20,000).

Published in Aquatic Tourism

Inland Fisheries Ireland’s annual sponsorship programme will support 38 angling projects in 2021, it has been announced.

The State agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats and promotion of angling received proposals from community groups, clubs, associations and other bodies earlier in the year.

Now a total of €17,450 has now been allocated by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) to 38 projects.

These including a fishing programme to promote better mental health in Dundalk and North Louth, an initiative introducing women to fly fishing in Limerick, a novice angling day event in Galway and a youth boat angling competition held on Lough Swilly earlier this month.

Making the announcement today (Monday 30 August, Suzanne Campion of IFI said: “More than 320,000 adults in Ireland already enjoy angling and 18% of those who haven’t tried it before are likely to try it in the future.

“This demonstrates that there’s significant potential for sustainable angling in this country, which could bring many health and economic benefits.

“Through Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Sponsorship Programme, we want to encourage people to try angling sustainably and we also want to encourage more beginners, especially girls and women into the sport.

“The projects that are being supported this year showcase a wide appeal for angling events, coaching and competitions. These 38 projects and initiatives will create a greater awareness of Ireland’s inland fisheries and sea angling resources and the importance of conserving and protecting these precious resources.”

The programme supports novice or ‘beginner’ anglers and the development of sustainable angling tourism in Ireland, which could grow in popularity, particularly in rural and peripheral areas.

According to a recent survey by Ipsos MRBI, comissioned by the ESRI and funded by IFI, over 327,000 adults in Ireland consider themselves an angler. In another survey, undertaken in 2021 by Amárach Research and also funded by IFI, some 18% of adults that had never been fishing before said that they are “likely” to try angling in the future.

The full list of events and initiatives supported can be found on the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

Seventeen projects in 11 counties are being awarded more than €770,000 under Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Habitats and Conservation Scheme 2021.

Under two separate funds — the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund and the Midland Fisheries Fund — eligible angling clubs, commercial fishermen and fishery owners were invited to apply for financial assistance to support fisheries conservation projects in their local areas.

A total €774,000 in funding for 17 projects has been approved so far this year, going to projects based in Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Wexford, Westmeath and Wicklow.

Examples include the construction of rock ramp passageways to make it easier for fish to migrate upstream and downstream of impassable weirs, enhancement of spawning and nursery habitats for salmon and sea trout, and installing fences to stop livestock from entering rivers.

The announcement has been welcomed by Environment Minister Eamon Ryan, who said: “The Habitats and Conservation Scheme 2021 is a great example of proactive conservation and protection of habitats.

“The scheme will support angling clubs, commercial fishermen and fishery owners in improving habitats, water quality and fish passage at a local grassroots level. The works and studies supported by the scheme will also result in wider benefits for the environment.”

Since 2016, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has made more than €4 million available through its various funding schemes, including the two 2021 funds.

Head of business development Suzanne Campion said: “Protecting and conserving fish species, like Atlantic salmon and sea trout, is critical to the overall health of our ecosystem. Threats like water pollution, climate change and invasive species are all having a damaging impact.

“Under the Habitats and Conservation Scheme, made possible through fishing licence income, groups all over the country will be working on projects and measures that benefit the conservation of salmon, sea trout and their freshwater habitats.”

Financial assistance under the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund (SSTRCPF total of €744,326) is generated by the sale of salmon and sea trout angling licences and commercial fishing licences in Ireland.

The Midlands Fisheries Fund (MFF total of €29,778) is financed through contributions from permit income, received through the Midlands Fisheries Group permit area.

To be eligible, applicants to the SSTRCPF must have purchased a valid salmon and sea trout angling licence or a commercial fishing licence — or for the MFF, hold a current Midlands Fisheries Group permit.

Further allocations of funding may be announced later in the year and the full list of projects can be seen at the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

Funding of €19 million will be used to build “world-class” facilities at 22 locations across the country where water-based activities are a key visitor attraction.

Tourism Minister Catherine Martin and Fáilte Ireland today (Thursday 15 April) launched the investment to meet what they have identified as a growing demand for activities such as kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and open-water swimming.

It’s envisaged that centres will provide hot showers, changing and toilet facilities, secure storage, induction spaces, equipment wash-down and orientation points.

They will be fully wheelchair accessible and built using sustainability best practices such as solar heating panels to meet the Nearly Zero Energy Building Standard.

Developed in partnership between Fáilte Ireland and Local Authorities, the investment scheme also aims to support the local economy and the outdoor activity sector “by significantly enhancing the overall visitor experience, providing new business opportunities in local communities and allowing for the extension of the tourism season beyond the traditional summer months”.

This first phase of the scheme has a completion deadline of summer 2022. It’s expected to be followed by a second phase in 2023 under Fáilte Ireland’s Platforms for Growth capital investment programme.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Martin said: “Ireland is world-class when it comes to providing water-based activities which are enjoyed by local communities and visitors along our stunning coastline, rivers and lakes.

“We’ve seen a significant upward trend in people enjoying outdoor water activities over the last year and we know the appeal of the outdoors will continue to grow post-COVID-19 so we must ensure the Irish experience meets and exceeds visitor expectations.

“The scale of the investment I am announcing today with Fáilte Ireland will have a key role in Ireland’s recovery. It will support the local economy and the outdoor water-based activity sector by significantly improving the overall visitor experience, providing new business and job opportunities in local communities, particularly in rural areas and allowing for an extension of the traditional tourism season beyond the summer months.

“It is also important to note that the facility centres will be sustainable, accessible and integrate into the natural environment of their locations.”

The 22 locations earmarked for new facilities under this scheme are as follows:

  • Dublin: Docklands Water Sports, North Wall Quay; DLRCC Killiney Beach Facilities Project, Killiney.
  • Wexford: Curracloe Water Sports Activity Centre.
  • Waterford: Tramore Water-Sports Activity Facility Centre; Ardmore Water-Sports Activity Facility Centre.
  • Kilkenny: Kilkenny Water Sports Hub, County Hall, John Street.
  • Tipperary: Dromineer Sports Activity Facility, Nenagh.
  • Cork: Claycastle Sports Activity Facility, Youghal; GarryLucas Beach, Ballinspittle.
  • Kerry: Ballybunion Beach Shared Facilities Centre, Men’s (South) Beach, Ballybunion; Fenit Beach Shared Facility Centre, Fenit Beach; Magherabeg Shared Facilities Centre, Castlegregory.
  • Clare: Ballycuggeran Sports Activity Facility, Killaloe; Kilkee Waterworld Activity Facilities, Waterworld, Kilkee.
  • Galway: Corrib Sports & Adventure, Terryland.
  • Mayo: Keel Facility Centre for Water Sports Activities, Achill Island; Carrowmore Beach, Louisburg.
  • Sligo: Enniscrone Beach; Rosses Point.
  • Leitrim: Acres Lake Activity Facility, Drumshambo.
  • Donegal: Tullan Strand Centre for Water Sports Activities, Bundoran; Downings Water Sports Activity Facility, Na Dunaibh.
Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

Development of a blueway along the Wicklow and Wexford coasts and improved access at a number of angling locations throughout the country are among 14 large-scale projects to benefit from an investment of more than €6 million in adventure tourism.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys made the announcement yesterday (Monday 22 March) of the new funding under Measure 3 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

The investment involves a significant development of many of Ireland’s most popular outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways and blueways.

It will benefit 14 projects with investments of up to €500,000 each. This is in addition to the €9.7 million approved for 212 small and medium projects earlier this year, and is being funded in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.

Examples of the projects awarded funding include the development of the Blue-light Blueway from Bray along the coast to Wexford, which receives €499,338.

Inland Fisheries Ireland has been awarded €500,000 for improved safety and sustainable access, including wheelchair accessible platforms, at four angling locations in counties Cork, Mayo, Leitrim and Galway.

And in Co Monaghan, Hollywood Forest Park gets €276,385 for significant enhancements, which include the provision of a quality freshwater bathing site.

““This investment is making a significant contribution to supporting healthy, active lifestyles while also building upon the economic and tourism potential of rural areas,” Minister Humphreys said.

Details of all 14 projects are available HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

Since 2016, Inland Fisheries Ireland has awarded more than €4 million to over 200 sustainable angling projects across the country.

Now more eligible community groups and angling clubs can apply for the latest round of grant funding available to sustainable fisheries conservation and development projects, with over €1 million announced today (Friday 27 November).

Expressions of interest have been sought under two schemes funded by angler contributions: the €50,000 Midlands Fisheries Funds, which focuses on sustainable works in the midland fisheries permit area; and the €1 million Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund.

To be eligible, applicants must have contributed to the relevant fund through the purchasing of a midland fisheries permit or a salmon and sea trout licence, whether for angling or commercial purposes.

Expressions of interest (that will progress to full applications) will be accepted from this Monday 30 November, and applications and must be submitted before 5.30pm on Thursday 28 January. Decisions on applications and grants will be announced in May next year.

Further information on the grant schemes available and how to apply is available from the IFI website.

Published in Angling

A total of 35 projects engaged with introducing novices to angling have been granted funding this year to the tune of €140,000.

Applications for the ‘Angling for All’ fund were welcomed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) from any group in Ireland engaged in encouraging novice anglers, for projects that support governance, education and safety in angling.

Four national projects are receiving funding, along with 31 regional projects including those by the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI), Angling Council of Ireland (ACI), Salmon and Sea Trout Recreational Anglers of Ireland (SSTRAI) and Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs (IFPAC).

“The ‘Angling for All’ fund has been oversubscribed, reflecting the interest there is in angling countrywide,” said IFI’s head of business development Suzanne Campion.

“This financial investment of €140,000 will support the angling community directly to help make angling an accessible sport to novice angler of all backgrounds and abilities.

“The fund seeks to break down proven barriers to entering the sport and aims to improve governance, education and safety within angling stakeholder organisations.”

The full list of projects and initiatives receiving funding supported by the Dormant Accounts Fund can be found below:

Organisation Location Project Title Offer amount (€)
Connaught Angling Council Mayo  Angling development 4759.46
Angling Council Ireland (ACI) Nationwide Child Safety, Coaching & Governance The Angling Council of Ireland #whatwedobest 5000
Cornamona and District Anglers Association Galway Inclusive Angling 3300
Weston Anglers Limerick Help the kids and keep the art of fishing alive 4500
Maigue Rivers Trust Limerick Fly Fishing on the Maigue 4867.7
James's Street CBS Dublin Transition Year Fishing Project 4600
Inniscarra Fishing Cork Fishing for All on Inniscarra 5000
Tullamore and District Angling Club Offaly Junior Anglers 2021 2400
SSTRAI Rathcormac Angling Group Cork Rathcormac Angling Hub Cast Programme fly tying for Rathcormac Scout Group 2000
Salmon & Sea Trout Recreational Anglers Ireland Nationwide SSTRAI New Starter Hubs 2021 (equipment) 5000
Macroom Trout Angling club Cork West Muskerry Angling Club 3270
Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub Longford Access and coaching for youth and disabled 5000
St John Bosco Youth Centre Dublin Bosco Fishing Initiative 2100
Youth Action Castlebar Mayo Youth Action Castlebar 2200
Youth Action Ballina Mayo Youth Fishing Initiative 3300
Bannow Bay Sea Angling Club Wexford Shore Fishing for all. 4500
Mountmellick Angling Club Laois Mountmellick Angling for all 4895
Fermoy river youth And amenity group Cork Training for youth and vulnerable adults 4810
Waterford and District Coarse angling club Waterford WDCAC coaching program 4900
St. Pauls youth fishing club Waterford Waterford city youth outreach 4850
Lough Ree Access For All CLG Roscommon Lough Ree Access For All Angling Safaris 5000
Oaklands Coarse Angling club Wexford Oaklands Angling Camps 4900
Deele Community Anglers Donegal Wefish Nature Educates. 4800
Foroige Connect Mayo Foroige Connect 2200
FORUM Connemara Clg Galway Angling for young people with disability 2500
SSTRAI Glanmire & District Salmon & Trout Anglers Association Cork Tibbotstown Reservoir Fishery 3500
Killinarden Angling Initiative Dublin Angling in Dublin Vlog 4000
Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs Dublin All Ireland Junior Angling Championships and Novice Angler Coaching 5000
National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland Nationwide On-Line Governmence Support for Clubs 4500
Maugherow Sea Angling Club Sligo Establishment of New Sea Angling Club in North Sligo (Maugherow Sea Angling Club) 4000
Silver Anglers Kilcormac Offaly Silver Anglers Future Fishing Development Project 4250
Munster Provisional Council of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers Cork Munster Juvenile Boat Angling 4992
Inagh River Catchment Management Association Clare Inagh River Youth Angling Initiative 3140
Mullingar Tidy Towns Westmeath Fishing for all Mullingar 3830
Coomhola National School Cork Angling: A Sense of Place 2300
Published in Angling

Refurbishment of the Longford Canal and the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry are two of the projects that will be funded from a €63.5m allocation for greenways in 2021.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton today (Monday 9 November) confirmed the funding for a range of greenways across the country.

Minister Ryan said the funding “is the highest single year amount ever allocated to greenways”.

“Indeed, it nearly equals the total amount originally allocated for the four years 2018-2021 (€53m) and shows the commitment of this Government to providing a step-change in the way in which we fund walking and cycling,” he said.

Among the inland waterways projects in the list is the €172,000 refurbishment of the Longford Canal spur of the Royal Canal, with improved infrastructure being provided along its cycleway.

In Co Offaly, €3.1 million has been allocated to fund the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry, with another €1.66 million for the stretch between Daingean and Lough Boora, west of Tullamore.

“By the end of next year it will be possible to cycle the greenway the whole way from Edenderry to Lough Boora, over 50km worth of cycleway,” Minister Ryan said.

Minister Naughton added that a new greenway bridge across the River Shannon in Athlone would be funded from a €8.1 million allocation to the Galway-to-Dublin Greenway.

Published in Inland Waterways
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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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