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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Angling clubs, groups and associations all over Ireland are from tomorrow (Friday 11 June) invited to apply for funding under Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 2021 Sponsorship Programme.

One of the main funding mechanisms of Inland Fisheries Ireland, the programme awarded funding to 87 angling events and initiatives across the country during 2019, resulting in an investment of €30,000 to support novice anglers and angling tourism in Ireland.

Due to public health guidelines around the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sponsorship Programme didn’t go ahead in 2020, but in 2019 it supported 45 angling competitions to showcase Ireland’s angling resource and contribution to local economies.

Over 800 anglers travelled from outside Ireland to participate in these competitions, such as the Lough Ree International Pike Classic and International Coarse Fishing Festivals (Longford/Roscommon), the Arvagh International Coarse Fishing Festival (Cavan) and the Irish Winter Shore Angling Festival (Wexford).

A total of 37 coaching and juvenile events, aimed at novice and young anglers with a view to increasing participation in the sport, along with five public awareness events and angling-related initiatives were supported in 2019.

In total, over 600 juvenile and novice anglers participated in these initiatives, which included a juvenile angling competition held by Killaloe Ballina and District Anglers (Offaly/Tipperary), Easter and summer Angling Camps for children organised by the Trout Angling Federation of Ireland (Cork) and a Youth Initiative Day - Ulster organised by the Irish Federation of Sea Angling (Donegal).

Eligible events and categories in the 2021 Inland Fisheries Ireland Sponsorship Programme are as follows:

  • Large international competitions held in Ireland which showcase Ireland’s angling resources and contribution to local economies, supporting jobs and businesses (maximum sponsorship available is €3,000 per event).
  • Novice angler events and training courses which increase participation in angling including funding of transport hire for participants to facilitate attendance at novice angler events. Minimum of 20 novice angler participants required (maximum sponsorship available is €500 per event or course).
  • Information dissemination or initiatives to promote fisheries awareness, conservation and protection of the inland fisheries and sea angling resource; promotion of angling as a key Irish tourism activity e.g. Production of high quality angling promotional videos, seminars, coaching, training or workshops (maximum sponsorship available is €1,000 per event).
  • Juvenile and minority angling teams representing Ireland at international events both home and abroad (maximum sponsorship available is €500 per team).

Initiatives which support novice anglers and sustainable angling tourism are “key priorities” for funding in 2021, according to Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development.

“We are delighted to make financial support available in 2021 to support key priority projects and events that will support novice and junior anglers and help grow sustainable angling tourism here in Ireland.

“The past year has shown us all how important engaging in outdoor activities has been for people’s physical and mental wellbeing and the Sponsorship Programme has a focus on encouraging new and novice anglers to enjoy the outdoors more by participating in angling in a sustainable manner.

“In addition to supporting those who are holding a rod for the first time, we also have a unique opportunity to inform novice anglers about conservation and protection of our precious wild fisheries.

“As the deadline to apply under the Sponsorship Programme is Friday 25 June, we are encouraging all angling clubs, groups and associations to get in touch with us in Inland Fisheries Ireland and apply for funding through the programme.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is relying on the knowledge and experience as a ‘citizen scientist’ anglers in a new survey about less well-known fish species.

Some migratory fish species like salmon and lesser-known species such as shad and the extremely rare sturgeon, among others, are in decline in many European countries. These species spend much of their lifecycle at sea and periods in riverine habitats.

As part of the multinational European project DiadES, IFI and other project partners are assessing the recreational fishing interest in several of these species including shad, thin-lipped mullet, smelt and flounder via an online survey which will also record the economic benefits that the species support.

Dr William Roche, senior research officer at IFI, said: “We are urging anglers who fish for these species to participate in this online survey as it will help us get a more comprehensive view of these less common species in Irish waters.

“In this way we can contribute to providing better information to inform future policy and management of these species, and the economic, social and cultural activities associated with them.”

Future predictions suggest that some of these species will see northward and southward changes in distribution under climate change scenarios, IFI says.

This may increase or decrease their availability to recreational fishing and the economic benefits they bring to businesses in local areas, as well as the enjoyment and associated health and social benefits for fishers.

The online survey consists of questions about fish-catching activities and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

In Ireland the DiadES case study area comprises the Suir, Nore and Barrow Rivers and the Waterford Harbour catchment but IFI is also seeking details on the named fish species generally within Ireland.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Dublin Angling Initiative is calling on youth clubs, community groups and schools in the Greater Dublin Area to take part in its 2021 fishing programme.

The initiative aims to promote, develop and improve angling among children and young people. In 2021, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is looking for interested parties for the summer, autumn and winter months to take part in the programme.

In 2019, over 400 children and young people took part in the fishing programme which caters for anyone interested in angling, from the complete novice to the more advanced angler with exposure given to each of the different types of fishing.

Children and young people are offered an opportunity to take fishing lessons, participate in fishing trips and enjoy family fishing days.

In addition to practical fishing exercises, the initiative offers fishing presentations and tours providing an insight into fish, their habitat, conservation measures and education regarding local fishing areas.

‘Fishing is a pastime which can be enjoyed at any age or ability’

The Dublin Angling Initiative has seen thousands of young people participate over the past 20 years, resulting in the establishment of many new fishing clubs.

Brian Beckett, director of the Eastern River Basin District, said: “We are calling on youth clubs, community groups as well as national and secondary schools who would like to try out a new hobby.

“Fishing is a pastime which can be enjoyed at any age or ability. The Dublin Angling initiative introduces young people to the pursuit, giving access to fishing equipment, guidance around how and where to fish and builds awareness about the importance of protecting and conserving our fisheries resource and the broader aquatic environment.

“Along with learning a new skill there are the additional health and wellbeing benefits of taking part in an outdoor activity and disconnecting from the online world. We are opening our call for youth clubs to book in for this year to get an opportunity to take part in this unique initiative.”

The 2021 Dublin Angling Initiative will include coarse, sea and game angling along with educational trips, where COVID-19 public health guidelines allow. Interested groups should contact by email [email protected] or apply online.

Dublin Angling Initiative 2021 launch poster

Published in Angling

Reports have emerged of wild salmon showing signs of red skin disease in three provinces, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Low incidences of red skin disease (RSD) were first documented in 2019 in several European salmon stocks. In Ireland last year suspected incidences of RSD were reported in 113 salmon from 12 rivers throughout the country.

The majority of these reports were in June and July with only occasional incidences reported prior to and after this time.

Salmon affected by RSD have a characteristic red-spotted rash on their underbelly and may appear lethargic or moribund. The rash can either be localised or extend along some or most the length of the fish.

As the disease progresses, skin lesions, signs of bleeding and skins ulcers can develop primarily along the belly area and extend to the head and tail. Secondary fungal infection can further develop which may ultimately result in death of the salmon.

A salmon from the River Corrib showing early signs of the disease in 2019 | Credit: IFIA salmon from the River Corrib showing early signs of the disease in 2019 | Credit: IFI

The latest reports involve small numbers of individual fresh-run wild salmon encountered in the River Deel, in the Moy Catchment in Co Mayo and in the River Boyne.

IFI staff are continuing to liaise with the Fish Health Unit in the Marine Institute and international colleagues to monitor and respond to the situation.

Anglers and fishery owners are asked to report any incidences of salmon with signs of RSD to IFI to help determine the occurrence of the disease nationally.

Fishers who capture such salmon are advised to follow normal biosecurity procedures and disinfect tackle, waders and equipment. Until the cause of the disease has been determined and the risk of spreading the disease established, affected salmon should not be removed from the water.

IFI is appealing to anglers to forward any reports of salmon with signs of RSD along with photographs and an estimate of fish weight to [email protected] or on IFI’s 24-hour confidential hotline number at 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.

Published in Angling

One overall winner and five runners-up have been selected in the ‘My Favourite Fishing Place’ national photo competition that was run as part of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Go Fishing Week 2021.

Entries were received from anglers across Ireland and the UK under the title ‘My Favourite Fishing Place’, with their photos showing where people love to fish and some of the most beautiful scenic fishing locations Ireland has to offer.

The overall winner is Michael Brazendale from England whose favourite fishing spot is Derrynane Beach, Co Kerry, represented in a breathtaking panorama. He receives €100 worth of angling tackle.

Panorama of Derrynane Beach by overall winner Michael BrazendalePanorama of Derrynane Beach by overall winner Michael Brazendale

Runners-up prizes are awarded to Christin Breuker, Danijel Kucan, Enda Fields, Lukasz Ryz and Maurice Neill. The entries will be shared across IFI’s social media platforms over the coming weeks.

Go Fishing Week 2021 took place from Sunday 25 April to Monday 3 May with a packed nine days of webinars, videos, social media content and competitions.

Published in Angling

A Cork man has been jailed for four months on three charges including assault on a fisheries officer.

Jason Callaghan, with an address on Lower Barrack Street, was convicted by Judge Brian O’Shea at a special sitting of Midleton District Court on Tuesday 27 April.

The court was told how officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) had observed Callaghan illegally fishing with two other men in the Owenacurra River at the Cork Road Bridge in Midleton on the afternoon of Sunday 21 July 2019.

At the time, the river was closed to angling for the protection and conservation of salmon and sea trout stocks.

The court heard Callaghan fled the scene when approached by fisheries officers. He was then pursued from the river to the town centre where he assaulted a fisheries officer with the metal end of a fishing rod, injuring the officer and causing him to fall to the ground.

The assault was witnessed by a plain-clothes garda attending the incident. The garda also gave evidence during the hearing which lasted for several hours.

Judge O’Shea fined Callaghan €500, handing him an additional two-month custodial sentence for use of a strokehaul. Callaghan was further convicted of impeding an authorised officer and was given a four-month custodial sentence for assaulting an authorised officer, to run concurrent with the two-month sentence.

Callaghan, who had previous fisheries convictions, fully contested the charges and gave evidence to the court.

Kieran Ryan of Bishopstown and Calvin Morrissey of Carrignavar, who had been illegally fishing with Callaghan, were also convicted. Ryan received a two-month custodial sentence for use of a strokehaul and one month for impeding an authorised officer. Morrissey was convicted of use of a strokehaul and impeding an authorised officer and fined €500 on both counts.

All the charges were brought under the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959.

Judge O’Shea rejected submissions from legal representatives for the three accused and stated that Callaghan had told lies in the witness box which he “expressly rejected”. He noted that there was “no hint of an apology and no remorse shown” by Callaghan or his co-defendants.

Sean Long, director of the South Western River Basin District, said: “The safety of our fisheries officers is of utmost importance to IFI. This was a reckless assault on an officer in broad daylight on a busy street which could have had significant consequences for a man simply trying to carry out his job.

“Thankfully, our staff member was back at work after a couple of days and able to continue protecting our fisheries resource.

“I hope these custodial sentences will give would-be offenders pause for thought. An assault on a fisheries officer is a severe matter and we will continue to prosecute offenders without exception.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is to lead on the Annacotty weir fish passage improvement project, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has announced.

Annacotty Weir on the lower Mulkear River outside Limerick has been identified as a significant barrier to the free movement of several fish species including wild Atlantic salmon; sea, river and brook lamprey; wild brown trout; and eels.

The majority of the main river and its smaller tributaries in the catchment are designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU Habitats Directive.

Minister Ryan, who has responsibility for inland fisheries, said: “Free passage of fish is key to the sustainability of our precious fish stocks and the protection of biodiversity along our rivers.

“This project will help protect the Mulkear as one of our most valuable river habitats. I am delighted that Inland Fisheries Ireland will lead this project, and that their in-house expertise on fish passage mitigation will ensure it is delivered to the highest standard.”

IFI says it will progress these works as a pilot project in collaboration with various State agencies and key stakeholders “through the multiple phases involved in improvement of fish passage at the weir”.

This pilot includes the design and implementation of a national barriers restoration programme currently being progressed by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and which is expected to be announced in the draft River Basin Management Plan to be published shortly.

It will also be an opportunity “to test a collaborative and ecology-focused design approach towards informing similar future mitigation projects” as well as evaluate “enhanced community engagement opportunities that go beyond the standard consultation practices involved in the planning process”.

IFI chief executive Francis O’Donnell added: “Ensuring the free passage of fish is a main priority for our agency as we conserve and protect our inland fisheries resource.”

Published in Angling

A Clonmel man has been convicted on five charges including assaulting fisheries officers stemming from a poaching incident at Inniscarra Dam in May last year.

Officers of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) had observed Craig Brew fishing in a prohibited area known as the ‘Flush’ at the face of the ESB dam on 23 May 2020.

Evidence was heard that Brew — who had travelled from Tipperary to Cork during the COVID-19 lockdown — had refused to cooperate and violently threatened and resisted the fisheries officers before gardaí arrived to assist.

Brew was convicted by Judge Marian O’Leary at Cork District Court on Wednesday 21 April and fined €500 for illegal entry upon the private fishery, €400 for obstructing the fisheries officers, €500 for assault and €300 for not having a Salmon Rod Ordinary Licence.

Judge O’Leary also fined the defendant €300 for using a vehicle to aid the commission of an offence and considered an ancillary disqualification for the use of the vehicle. Costs of €400 were awarded to IFI and an order for forfeiture of the fishing rods used was granted.

Sean Long, director of the South Western River Basin District, said: “The welfare of our Fisheries Officers is of foremost importance to IFI and that they can carry out their necessary work while ensuring their own personal safety. We are concerned at the level of threatening and aggressive behaviour towards fisheries officers in the area and on social media.

“While we are satisfied with the convictions in this case, an assault on a fisheries officer is a severe matter and offenders will be prosecuted without exception. I urge anglers and members of the public to report illegal fishing through IFI’s confidential hotline on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.”

Published in Angling

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, anglers fishing in Irish waters in 2020 caught hundreds of large fish — according to the latest Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) report.

One new record was set — for a 12.02kg smooth-hound hooked off Wicklow in July last year by Dublin angler John Hughes — and over 300 exceptionally large fish of different species were caught by anglers from venues throughout Ireland.

The main species were sharks like smooth-hound and spurdog while in freshwater, pike and brown trout dominated. All fish were caught, weighed, measured and released.

Amy O’Brien with dad Sidney, winner of the Dr AEJ Went Award for Young Specimen Angler of the Year with her 1.02kg golden grey mulletAmy O’Brien with dad Sidney, winner of the Dr AEJ Went Award for Young Specimen Angler of the Year with her 1.02kg golden grey mullet

Details of all these fish and current Irish record fish are in the Irish Specimen Fish Committee Report 2020, which has just been released and is available to download HERE. Hard copies will be available in mid-May.

The ISFC, which is supported by Inland Fisheries Ireland, is an independent all-Ireland voluntary body which verifies and records the capture of large fish caught on rod by anglers in freshwater and marine waters.

Published in Angling

The winners and runners-up have been announced in a national video competition for Go Fishing Week 2021, which is taking place this week.

Entries were received across Ireland under the title ‘Why I love to fish’, and one overall winner and five-runners up were selected.

The overall winner is Michael Galvin and his son Cathal from Longford, who received €100 worth of angling tackle. Runner-up prizes, which include buoyancy aids, are awarded to Angela Byrne; Anthony Murnane; Christopher Eleker; Maud Finn and her twin boys; and Michael Heron.

Suzanne Campion of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “We would like to congratulate all of the participants in the competition and in particular our overall winner and five runners-up.

"The videos embodied nature, a sense of wellbeing and enjoyment and displayed diverse footage of the anglers favourite fishing locations around Ireland.”

Go Fishing Week continues until next Monday 3 May and entries are still open in another competition, this time sharing a photo of a favourite fishing spot, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Angling
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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