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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched an update of its guideline document ‘Planning for Watercourses in the Urban Environment’.

It outlines an integrated watercourse protection strategy that has been developed by IFI through consultation with a wide range of experts in the area.

Watercourses including rivers, lakes and streams are an integral part of our environment — and if managed appropriately can significantly improve the quality of life for people living in urban areas, IFI says.

The strategy adopts a ‘four-step’ approach to watercourse protection planning which should not only protect watercourses and their associated riverside zones in urban areas, but also provide other benefits important for the wellbeing of people living nearby.

Watercourses cover 

IFI chief executive Francis O’Donnell emphasises that both “nature-based catchment management” and “a holistic approach to addressing our biodiversity and climate challenges” are crucial for sustainable development going forward.

These updated guidelines approach the issue of planning for watercourses in urban environments from a multi-stakeholder perspective and seek to maximise the significant co-benefits that will arise from adoption of a comprehensive, all-inclusive strategy,” he says.

“These benefits range from better water quality and more resilient and natural ecosystems to the well-established positive effects of nature and green areas for community wellbeing, recreation, health and recovery from serious illness and even reduced levels of antisocial behaviour.

“We hope these guidelines will be a useful resource for all of Irish society.”

Published in Inland Waterways

Improving stocks of wild salmon and trout in the West of Ireland in the goal of a new initiative launched by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Derek Evans writes in The Irish Times about IFI’s partnership with Co Galway angling federation Cairde an Chláir to restore a near kilometre-long stretch of the Abbert River, a tributary of the River Clare.

Earlier this year the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding on the conservation and development of brown trout and salmon and their habitat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

While the coronavirus pandemic slowed progress over the year, IFI says the project is now at the stage where work on the river can begin — while a similar scheme to restore 8km of nursery streams such as the River Nanny is already under way.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland’s (IFI) education and outreach team have been working with Foróige to get young people angling with the Go Fishing programme.

Due to the latest public health-related restrictions on gatherings, the programme has now evolved into a “blended learning experience” that consists of a weekly online course over four weeks, followed by a local fishing trip.

Participants learn about Ireland’s inland fisheries and the benefits of angling, the biodiversity of our waterways, becoming a steward of our waterways and the environment, and the basics of angling.

IFI says the programme has been piloted with a number of Foróige groups nationwide since July. One of these was in Donegal, where a local Foróige group was taken shore fishing at Buncrana beach on Thursday 27 August.

The young participants learned how to set up a beach casting rod, attach a rig using the improved clinch knot, how to bait up using mackerel, razorfish, lug worm and use bait elastic.

The weather was reportedly “perfect for fishing” and the young anglers caught a number of dogfish. They went home at the end of the day with goodie bags and certificates of awareness having completed their course.

Foróige youth worker Orla Taylor says the IFI sessions were presented “in an engaging and well organised way, telling stories of catches and experiences they have had. This made it very real for the young people.

“The group loved the experience and are looking forward to trying more fishing.”

The online programme is designed for young people aged 12–17. Group numbers for the fishing trip are always in line with the prevailing public health advice, but up to 20 can partake in the online course.

With consideration of the current situation, all fishing field trips will now take place in 2021.

Lorraine O’Donnell, education and outreach officer at IFI, says: “We are delighted to now be able to offer an online course as part of the Go Fishing initiative.

“Being able to offer the course in an online capacity keeps the programme accessible at the current time and also means we are able to offer the programme to organisations like Foróige.

“We would like to invite any youth groups that would be interested in taking part in the new online course to please email [email protected] for more information.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland have been selected as joint winners of the Best Consultancy Partnership gong in the 2020 National Training Awards.

The award was given to IFI and the International Centre for Security Excellence (ICSE) for a QQI Level 6 conflict management course that both worked in collaboration to deliver to most of IFI’s operations staff in late 2018 and 2019.

IFI’s HR chief Roisin Bradley said: “Our operations staff work day and night in the field to protect and manage our fisheries resource. To support our staff to carry out vital work we must ensure they have the correct measures and training to enable them to work in a safe environment.

“This collaborative project between IFI and ICSE has been successful and the feedback from staff has been very positive. We are looking forward and excited to see where this journey takes us.

“I would like to congratulate our health and safety/accessibility officer Michael Cusack; Pia Fennell, our learning and organisational development manager; Sonia Peter, our HR officer; all the staff that helped along the way and the team at ICSE who created and managed the training and the process of rolling it out to staff.

“It is of utmost importance to IFI that staff can carry out the work that is necessary to protect our fisheries resource in the safest way possible.”

Tony O’Brien of ICSE added: “In my view all of the credit for this programme has to go the fisheries officers nationally who made it a success. It was a programme built by fisheries officers for their colleagues and the judges commented on the real desire by the teams to make their job better.

“The programme was successful because of the support, buy in and feedback from fisheries officers nationwide. Their hospitality and willingness to show us the challenges they face and their desire to overcome them set the tone for the whole programme.”

The National Training Awards are organised by the Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD).

Published in Angling

Anecdotal evidence suggests that coronavirus restrictions have been a boost to wild Atlantic salmon returns in Irish rivers this year, as SeafoodSource reports.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is awaiting official data to support the suggestion that decreased predation over the last six months has allowed more wild salmon to cross the Atlantic and spawn in Irish rivers.

However, even with this potential boost, the overall trend for wild salmon numbers in Ireland is one of decline — the commercial fishery seeing a 35% drop between 2007 and 2019, while rod-and-line angling catches are down 2.4% year on year over the last two decades.

SeafoodSource has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

A new funding scheme to support novice anglers of all ages and backgrounds is now open for applications.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says the €120,000 ‘Angling for All’ fund will contribute between €2,000 and €5,000 for each qualifying project aimed at getting young and novice anglers involved in the sport and pastime.

Applications are invited from all angling clubs within the Republic of Ireland as well as angling representative bodies, local community groups and not-for-profits, and both existing and planned Angling For Youth Development Ireland (AFYDI) hubs.

“Angling is not just a sport; it can offer young people new experiences and opportunities,” says IFI’s Suzanne Campion. “It can also help develop a young person’s skills, self-confidence and motivation whilst promoting physical exercise and good health.”

The closing date is Tuesday 13 October and all applications must be submitted via the IFI website.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, IFI is also currently inviting submissions for its new Novice Angling Strategy, titled ‘Let’s Fish’, which is aimed at growing angling participation nationwide.

Published in Angling

The board of Inland Fisheries Ireland has announced the appointment of Francis O’Donnell to the position of chief executive officer.

O’Donnell is currently director of the Western River Basin District. He will take up his new position in the coming weeks.

Prior to rejoining the inland fisheries service, O’Donnell was the CEO of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation. He has also worked with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010.

Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource.

IFI promotes supports, facilitates and advises the minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. It also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the minister on same.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is inviting submissions for its new Novice Angling Strategy, titled ‘Let’s Fish’, which is aimed at growing participation in the sport and pastime.

Based on a series of consultations last year with anglers, angling clubs and representative groups, as well as non-anglers, the draft strategy is currently under going environmental assessments.

In the meantime, the State agency responsible for Ireland’s inland fisheries is seeking input from its stakeholders regarding the main barriers to increasing angling participation, and how its vision — “All fishing together” — can be achieved between now and 2025.

“The social and economic value of angling in Ireland is significant; over 270,000 people identify themselves as anglers,” says IFI’s Suzanne Campion.

“The Let’s Fish strategy will work to connect people to angling and the environment and make it accessible to everyone.”

All members of the public are also invited to share their input into the Novice Angling Strategy on the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

Six young poets have been selected as winners of the ‘Let’s fish’ national poetry competition which took place earlier this summer.

The contest was organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland in conjunction with the Blackrock Education Centre, to keep pupils engaged while out of the classroom during coronavirus restrictions.

Entries were received from across Ireland under the title ‘Let’s fish’, with pupils encouraged to research the Something Fishy online resource and asked to write a five-line poem on the topic.

And the poems revealed how much fish and fishing means to our younger generation, IFI says.

In the Fifth Class category, Oran from CBS Primary School in Dundalk took first prize, followed by Ethan of Scoil Naomh Buithe in Monasterboice, Co Louth and Philip of Scoil Réalt na Mara in Tuosist, Co Kerry.

Meanwhile, Millie of St Patrick’s NS in Greystones, Co Wicklow placed first in the Sixth Class category, while second prize went to Leah of Sion Mills Primary School in Co Tyrone and third to Dara from Scoil Phadraig in Westport.

IFI says it will share the winning entries across its social media platforms over the coming weeks.

Published in Angling

Invasive chub have been confirmed in the River Inny in Longford, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

A single fish was caught on rod and line at one of a number of spots where IFI staff recorded possible sightings following reports from members of the public.

Chub (Squalius cephalus) are non-native to Ireland, with the potential to compete with native species for food and space as well as be a carrier of fish diseases and parasites.

The River Inny — a tributary of the Shannon — is the only Irish river in which they have been recorded thus far, and removal operations between 2006 and 2010 were thought to have eradicated the species from the system.

It is not yet clear whether the current chub are linked to the original population or were more recently introduced.

However, the threat of chub spreading through the Shannon system “is of real and pending concern to the biodiversity of Ireland’s biggest catchment”, says the fisheries body.

IFI’s head of research Dr Cathal Gallagher explained: “Ireland’s rivers are ecologically important ecosystems, which support significant recreational fisheries for native and established fish species.

“Non-native fish species threaten these ecosystems and the game and coarse fisheries that they support — potentially in unforeseen ways — and are thus a cause for concern.”

IFI appeals to anglers to protect Ireland’s fisheries by not moving fish between watercourses for any reason and to submit any sightings directly to IFI or on the hotline at 1850 347424 or 1850 FISH24.

Published in Angling
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020