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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

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 Fishing

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 Marine Wildlife

A firearm was discharged by alleged offenders as fisheries officers responded to reports of an illegal net on the upper tidal River Suir late last month.

Nobody was injured in the incident as Inland Fisheries Ireland officers seized a boat, net and nine wild salmon near Carrick-on-Suir during a routine patrol on the night of Tuesday 28 July.

Gardai attended the scene and the matter is being investigated, the fisheries body adds.

IFI director David McInerney said: “The salmon caught by this illegal net were on the final leg of an arduous journey to reach their native spawning rivers.

“The fish were fresh in from the sea, having survived a journey from either the coastal waters off west Greenland or the Faroe Island, before being cruelly killed by an illegal net, a few miles from their final destination.

“It cannot be stressed enough that nobody should purchase wild salmon that does not carry either a green or white gill tag through the mouth and gill clearly displaying the name Inland Fisheries Ireland.

“I would like to highlight the dedication and courage demonstrated by the officers in tackling illegal fishing in the face of significant personal danger.”

Published in Fishing

Two men have pleaded guilty on charges relating to illegal net fishing at Broadmeadow Estuary in Malahide, Co Dublin.

On Tuesday 28 July, Maxim Loan and Gheorgie Pingica appeared before Judge Bernadette Owens at Swords District Court in respect of breaches of fisheries legislation at Broadmeadow Estuary on 5 August last year.

Fisheries officers from the Dublin District of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) said that on the night in question, surveillance was carried out on a net that had been staked in the estuary.

Later that night, IFI officers observed two individuals retrieving and servicing a net and placing it in a vehicle.

Officers carried out a search and seized a net 68 meters long which contained mullet and flounder, and the men were apprehended.

Judge Owens convicted Loan and Pingica under Section 102 of Fisheries Amendment Act and imposed fines totalling €1,000, and awarded costs to IFI of €1,814.

Brian Beckett, director of IFI’s Eastern River Basin District, said: “Our officers enforce fisheries laws in both covert and non-covert operations dedicating significant surveillance man-hours in the protection of our valuable fish populations.

“Illegal nets are very damaging to vulnerable estuary fish stocks including salmon, sea trout, bass and mullet along the East Coast. This conviction highlights the persistent issue of illegal net fishing which is a serious environmental crime and will not be tolerated.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is reminding anglers to follow safety guidelines on the water and to be aware of potential dangers and risks.

Anglers are also reminded to follow HSE and Government advice regarding physical distancing and outdoor gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

According to the latest figures from Water Safety Ireland, a total of 105 people — 25 female and 80 male — drowned in Irish waters last year.

Over the last 10 years, 1,200 people drowned in Ireland — an average of 10 every month — with many drownings happening quickly, silently and in cooler water with hidden currents that impairs the ability to swim and float.

As angling is a water-based activity, anglers often have to deal with changing conditions and hidden dangers.

IFI is reminding anglers to exercise great care for their own safety and that of angling partners.

While wearing a life jacket on a boat is mandatory, Inland Fisheries Ireland would advise anglers to wear one when on or near water.

Anglers are asked to follow some simple safety tips when going fishing:

  • Wear a life jacket
  • Follow advice on warning signs, permits and notices
  • Don’t take any risks when wading or fishing from boat, shore or bank
  • Check the weather forecast and tide tables before you go
  • Take time to observe weather, water and tide conditions while fishing
  • Fish with a partner/buddy or let someone know where you’re going
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case/bag
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear

“There are 273,000 domestic anglers in Ireland and many of these anglers have been fishing for years and may feel experienced being near or on the water,” says Suzanne Campion of IFI.

“However, we would appeal to anglers to follow these simple safety steps at all times. Under current conditions anglers that are fishing are being reminded to adhere to IFI’s angling guidelines. Government advice to stop the spread of Coronavirus is Be Responsible, Be Safe.

Speaking about safety precautions in regard to overhead electricity wires, Arthur Byrne, public safety manager at

ESB Networks also reminded about safety precautions with regard to overhead electricity wires.

Public safety manager Arthur Byrne says: “We would like to remind the public to keep a safe distance from overhead electricity wires; coming close to these live wires is extremely hazardous and can be fatal.

“ESB Networks asks anglers to never fish or cast where there are overhead wires nearby as coming close to electricity wires with something you are holding puts you at risk of electric shock or electrocution.

“In case of an emergency or if you see something unusual, please stay clear and immediately call the ESB Networks emergency number 1800 372 999. Further information is available at www.esbnetworks.ie/staying-safe

IFI has a detailed guide to safety available online. You can also download a free copy of the Angling Safety Checklist and the more detailed Angling Safety Guidelines.

Published in Water Safety
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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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