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Anglers are invited to practise ‘Catch and Release’ when fishing for all salmon this weekend, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of July 2019, as part of a Catch and Release Weekend to mark International Year of the Salmon (IYS).

Sean Canney TD, Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, encouraged anglers to participate and contribute towards IYS. “Atlantic salmon is distributed in over 140 rivers across Ireland, however, the number of salmon returning to Irish shores has decreased by 70 per cent in recent decades. The Catch and Release weekend is just one of many initiatives taking place during IYS to highlight the challenges facing salmon populations across the Northern Hemisphere” said the Minister.

Catch and release, where the angler safely returns the fish to water, contributes to the maintenance of healthy fish stocks and ensures the sustainability for the resource into the future. Research carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research in 2014 examined the survival of salmon after catch & release fishing in three Irish rivers (the Owenmore in County Mayo, the Mulkear in County Limerick and the Feale in County Kerry)and 92% of the Atlantic salmon recorded after tagging survived post Catch & Release*.

Anglers who participate in catch and release over the weekend can submit their catch details via an online form to earn a #CPRSavesFish merit pin. The new #CPRSavesFish Pins Programme will be available to anglers throughout 2019 while stocks last. Anglers are also invited to share pictures of their catch and release on social media using the hashtags #CPRSavesFish and #YearOfTheSalmon to promote the message of sustainability with the public. 

Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Anglers are our conservationists on the ground, they are in tune with the fisheries resource and they want it to fish well into the future. We know that salmon across the Northern Hemisphere are struggling due to a range of challenges which face them at sea. 

While we recognise that the issues affecting salmon populations are complex, we are hosting a Catch and Release weekend with the purpose of raising awareness and starting a conversation among anglers and the public around what we can do to support salmon populations.”

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Inland Fisheries Ireland has welcomed the opening of East Mayo Anglers Association disabled angling facility on the River Moy in Foxford, County Mayo. The €200,000 facility, which was opened last Friday by Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, gives access to wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility over a large stretch of the popular salmon angling destination.

The new facility comes with a 76-metre accessible fishing platform with access ramps and railings to allow all members of the public to safely access the river. It also includes changing facilities, designed for shelter from the weather, and an accessible car park. The project was funded by Inland Fisheries Ireland to the tune of €160,000 under the National Strategy for Angling Development with a further €30,000 contributed from East Mayo Anglers Association.

The project is just one of many fisheries development projects being completed across the country under the National Strategy for Angling Development, which is the first comprehensive national framework for the development of Ireland’s angling resource. With an overarching emphasis on conservation, the Strategy focuses on improving angling access, developing angling tourism and recognising angling as a key leisure and recreational pursuit.

Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development said at the launch: “The highly collaborative approach of both East Mayo Anglers Association and Inland Fisheries Ireland has led to the high-quality facility here today. The ongoing conservation and development of our fisheries resource relies on a high level of collaboration between all those who have an interest in this precious natural amenity and today, we see the fruits of such a partnership. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise and sincerely congratulate all the club committee members who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point today.” 

Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “I would like to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of East Mayo Anglers Association who have delivered this fantastic new angling facility. Their dedication and constructive attitude to making a valuable difference in their locality is exemplary.

The idea for this accessible angling facility was borne in Foxford and we were delighted to support with financial assistance and guidance, where needed, from our staff. We are working to replicate projects and partnerships, just like this one, across Ireland through the National Strategy for Angling Development.”

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Sean Canney TD, Minister with responsibility for the Inland Fisheries sector, welcomed the launch of two new grant-aided angling boats for Clonbur Angling Centre.

Minister Canney said: “The new boats will be used by local and visiting anglers on Lough Corrib and Lough Mask in counties Galway and Mayo and will not only boost the tourism angling offer in these areas but will also be available free of charge to novice anglers via angling clubs or associations which promote novice angling. 

“This is an important feature of the support funding to encourage more young people, through the guidance of angling clubs, into fishing as a healthy outdoor leisure activity”, he added.

The boats, which were purchased with funding from Inland Fisheries Ireland’s National Strategy for Angling Development funding scheme, are 19 foot in length and will add to the centre’s existing fleet. Lough Corrib and Lough Mask are popular angling destinations in the West of Ireland with anglers looking to fish for trout.

Clonbur Angling Centre is a private business which provides a complete self-catering package to anglers from angling boats and equipment to village and lakeshore accommodation. The Centre has three angling tour operators from Germany, Switzerland and France who regularly use the centre to facilitate tourists looking to fish in the area. It successfully applied for €4,000 from Inland Fisheries Ireland’s funding scheme to expand its fishing fleet with the new boats now available for hire at a reasonable cost. The boats will also be accessible free of charge to novice anglers via angling clubs or associations which promote novice angling.

Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Lough Mask is a renowned angling site for both domestic and visiting anglers. We hope these new boats will support existing boat hire opportunities on the lake while also driving local youth interest in angling and the fisheries resources. One of the aims of our National Strategy for Angling Development is to break down the barriers, both physical and social, which exist when it comes to accessing angling. We welcome the opportunity to work with local angling groups and businesses across the country who are looking to improve and drive interest in angling.”

Hugh O’Donnell, Clonbur Angling Centre said: “We are delighted to add two new angling boats to our fleet which will improve access to this prime angling location on Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. The funding from Inland Fisheries Ireland was crucial in allowing us to grow our angling business and support our local community in doing so. 

We look forward to welcoming visiting anglers from all over Ireland and overseas to experience and enjoy the fishing here at their own pace. Our boats will be available to groups looking to support novice anglers in the community and we hope to help the next generation of anglers in discovering a hobby which can last a lifetime.”

Inland Fisheries Ireland’s National Strategy for Angling Development aims to ensure that Ireland’s fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced with a view to ensuring a sustainable habitat and the delivery of the economic, health and recreational benefits which they offer to communities across Ireland. Inland Fisheries Ireland is aiming to grow the angling sector’s socio-economic contribution of €836 million per year by an additional €60 million annually through the strategy. This will be achieved by driving angling participation among domestic and overseas visitors, which in turn is supported by improving access to fishing and developing angling infrastructure.

To find out more or to contact Clonbur Angling Centre, visit here

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The Irish Federation of Sea Anglers men's Senior Shore Angling Championship Team have won World silver medals in South Africa. The result highlights the efforts and successes of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers. IFSA ladies also had a very good championship but were unfortunately not in the medal positions on this occasion.

The Confederation Internationale De La Peche Sportive (FIPS Mer.), WORLD GAMES SHORE ANGLING CHAMPIONSHIPS was held in Langebann, South Africa, from the 08.02.2019 to the 15. 02.19. Teams from 18 nations took park.

The IFSA men’s team consisted of Aidan O Halloran, Limerick Captain, Albert Allen Dublin, Joe Carley Wexford, JP Molloy Waterford, Richard Gormley Kerry. Team manager was John O Brien from Waterford and Assistant Manager Sean Ivory from Dublin.

In 2010 the IFSA men’s shore team won gold in South Africa, JP Molloy and John O Brien above were also part of that world gold medal winning team.
Ladies team Manager was Jim Snoddy from Belfast, Assistant Manager Johnny Snoddy Newtownabbey, the team members were Pat Shortt (Captain) Wicklow, Rosaleene Murphy Dublin, Janet Snoddy and Lisa Gormley from Belfast, Linda Manton Clare and Tracey Whelan from Waterford. The ladies team finished in 9th position overall, well done to all.

The men’s team will arrive back in Dublin airport on Monday next at 11.30

The support received from Sport Ireland, Coaching Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Sport Capital Grants helps the ACI to work with affiliated federations. 

Anglers contribute an estimated €750 million every year. Recreational angling is a vital economic activity in Ireland, supporting 11,000 jobs and bringing an estimated €750 million to the economy every year. (ESRI 2016)

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It is estimated that 240,000 Atlantic salmon returned to Irish shores last year, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland. The enduring Atlantic salmon populations in Irish waters were being highlighted at the launch of the International Year of the Salmon (IYS), which takes place in 2019. Sean Canney TD, Minister with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, marked the launch by unveiling one of a new fleet of 12 RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) to highlight the importance of fisheries protection especially during migration along the coasts.

Atlantic salmon populations are widely distributed throughout Irish freshwaters with over 140 such systems designated as salmon rivers. While 240,000 Atlantic salmon returned to Ireland from the sea as part of the natural migration last year, representing the healthy condition of Irish river stocks, the numbers returning to Irish shores has decreased by over 70 per cent in recent decades. In the 1970s, the number of Atlantic salmon returning peaked at 1,800,000. 

Minister Canney said: “It is vital that we protect our valuable fisheries resource as environmental change and human impacts are placing salmon and other species at risk. The International Year of the Salmon is a global initiative which aims to bring people together to share knowledge, raise awareness and take action on how we can ensure the resilience of salmon in Ireland and in the Northern Hemisphere. Ireland is recognised as an international exemplar in terms of placing the conservation imperative at the very heart of our salmon management and I am committed to leading our participation in this initiative on behalf of the Government, the Department and Inland fisheries Ireland”, he added 

The continuing declining trend in many wild salmon stocks both nationally and internationally in recent decades has been attributed to many different factors such as climate change, alterations to physical habitats, water quality issues, predation, over-fishing and increased mortality due to sea lice.

International Year of the Salmon is a joint world-wide initiative of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) alongside other partners across the globe, creating an international framework for collaborative outreach and research. It is hoped that IYS will raise awareness of what humans can do to ensure salmon and their habitats are conserved and restored against a backdrop of several environmental factors. 

Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “I am delighted that we are adding to our protection fleet today, particularly in light of the challenges facing salmon stocks across the Northern hemisphere. In Ireland, salmon are part of our national identity, holding a special place in our culture and heritage. In fact, salmon populations have sustained many rural communities over many decades. The extraordinary life cycles of salmon however exposes them to many environmental and human caused factors which influence their health and populations.

Fisheries managers and scientists have been concerned for a number of years about the declining numbers of salmon returning to the Irish coast. International Year of the Salmon offers us an opportunity to start an important conversation around how we can protect, conserve and restore salmon populations in Irish and international waters and more importantly, how we can inspire action. Inland Fisheries Ireland looks forward to continuing this conversation over 2019 and beyond.” 

Minister Canney emphasised that since 1996, a progressive series of conservation initiatives have been introduced in Ireland to try to address the decline in salmon stocks. Inland Fisheries Ireland implements the Wild Salmon Conservation Scheme, managing rivers on an individual basis, rather than a national or district basis with only rivers with an identifiable surplus over the conservation limit open for the harvest of salmon and sea trout. In addition, the Salmon Conservation Fund, which is generated from the sale of salmon angling and commercial fishing licences, reinvests in projects which promote the recovery of salmon stocks and habitats. 

During International Year of the Salmon, Inland Fisheries Ireland will introduce a commemorative salmon licence which will include updated information for anglers on catch & release angling. Carcass tags will also be rebranded to read: ‘Do you need me? Think twice before killing.’ 

The new fisheries protection RIB, officially introduced to the protection fleet in Greystones, Co. Wicklow to mark the start of International Year of the Salmon, will serve the east coast and larger inland lakes in the Eastern River Basin District. It comes after the launch of other RIBs around the country in recent months. Inland Fisheries Ireland is replacing its sea going RIB fleet with 12 new DELTA 780HX Maritime Protection RIBs built by Delta in Manchester. This will ensure proper protection of salmon in the coastal waters of Ireland out to the 12 mile limit.

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Inland Fisheries Ireland today announced that it seized 647 items of illegal fishing equipment and 301 illegal fishing nets measuring 14,055 metres (8.6 miles) in 2017.

The agency’s Fisheries Protection statistics for 2017 also reveal that it carried out 26,726 environmental inspections and 35,630 inspections of recreational anglers last year, putting 187,426 person-hours into protecting Ireland’s fishing resource.

“Fisheries contributes €836 million to the Irish economy every year and supports over 11,000 jobs, many of which are in rural and peripheral communities which benefit from tourism opportunities related to recreational angling, so I want to commend Inland Fisheries Ireland for the vital work they do, often in challenging geographical locations and during unsocial hours,” said Sean Kyne TD, Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries. 

“The quality of our natural environment and aquatic habitat is inextricably linked to the appeal of Ireland as an angling and holiday destination, so the fisheries protection, public information campaigns and strategic development of the sector conducted by IFI are all crucial in that regard.”

Inland Fisheries Ireland staff patrol 74,000 kilometres of rivers and streams, 128,000 hectares of lakes and 5,500 kilometres of coastline in their attempts to protect the resource and apprehend those responsible for illegal fishing and environmental offences.

“Protecting the fisheries resource is just one key element of our work,” says Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland. “Protection gives us a platform to develop the sector. Ireland holds a very special place in Europe in terms of ecology and climate and, as a consequence, has extremely important fish stocks unique from neighbouring countries. Salmon and trout stocks are indicative of good water quality and the preservation of these key species in addition to our significant populations of coarse fish is a vital part of the role of Inland Fisheries Ireland in protecting this important resource.”

Some key findings from the Fisheries Protection statistics for 2017 include:

  • 82 prosecution cases initiated for breaches of fisheries and environmental legislation, regarded as one of the most important tools in the prevention of illegal fishing activities in the long term.
  • 647 items of illegal fishing equipment seized, including 301 illegal fishing nets which measured 14,055 metres (8.6 miles) in total, or nearly a 2 hours and 21 minutes’ walk at a moderate pace.
  • 26,726 environmental inspections across a variety of sites including farms, industrial premises, wastewater plants, forestry sites, wind farms as well general inspections for pollutants in the natural habitat. Inspections were carried out by environmental officers with a view to mitigating potential environmental incidents which could have a detrimental impact on fish populations and fish habitats.
  • 35,630 inspections of recreational anglers carried out nationwide to ensure anglers were compliant with the fisheries acts, which aim to protect fish populations.
    31,000 patrols, comprising planned day and night patrols, covert patrols and intelligence-led surveillance operations and specifically targeted around the fish species most at risk during particular seasons, with local staff on 24/7, 365 availability.
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland is also inviting the public to help protect and conserve the fisheries resource during the year by reporting incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species to its confidential hotline number telephone 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.

For more information on Inland Fisheries Ireland and to view the Fisheries Protection statistics 2017, please visit here

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Inland Fisheries Ireland was delighted to attend the recent graduation ceremony and presentation of certificates to transition year students from Christian Brothers School (CBS) James Street, Dublin 8, after their recent successful completion of the second annual Angling Adventure flyfishing project, run in co-operation with eir and IFI.

Following the success of the programme in 2017, it was expanded this year to cover even more elements of fishing including coarse, pike and fly fishing, casting, fly tying, and environmental awareness.

The 13-week programme with IFI and the inner-city Dublin school has been very generously funded by eir under its remit of corporate social responsibility to communities and the environment.

Alongside classroom workshops delivered by experts in the field of fly tying and casting, field trips were organised at Lough Ramor, Virginia, Co. Cavan, Annamoe Trout Fishery in Co. Wicklow and the K Club’s pike fishing lakes in Co. Kildare, as well as an environmental field trip to the River Dodder in Dublin.

Attendance throughout the course was excellent and pupils were fully engaged with the course content and their mentors. The programme ran from January to April and it is hoped that the participants will have reached a standard high enough to obtain the President’s GAISCE Award.

“This project has huge benefits for all partners,” said Ciaran Ward, organiser of the programme for eir. “From our perspective, eir sees this project as a good way to demonstrate being a good corporate citizen. Through teaching these teenagers fishing skills, hopefully, some may go on to become future custodians of our rivers and lakes benefitting the participants and, for IFI, it is an opportunity to introduce more young people to angling.”

Brian Beckett, Director of the Eastern River Basin District, Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “A contributing factor to the success of this eir/IFI initiative is the tremendous support from the angling community, who have given freely of their time through the running of the programme to pass on their knowledge of particular disciplines of angling. And, of course, an added benefit is that the mentors on the programme are positive role models for the students. It is also hoped that these youngsters will put their newly learned fishing skills into practice and take up a hobby that can be lifelong.”

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Leading chandlery store Viking Marine is one of some of the leading boat dealers displaying at the Ireland Angling show this weekend in Swords, North Dublin. 

The Dun Laoghaire and Wicklow based chandler is a repeat exhibitor at the two day show, based near Dublin Airport, where Stand B11 features Humminbird fish finders, Minn Kota electric engines, Boat Buddy cleaning products plus a wide range of lifejackets.

Other boat dealers familiar to Afloat.ie readers in Swords include BJ Marine, pictured below, MGM Boats and Yachtsman Marine Insurance.

BJ Marine anglingThe new Beneteau Barracuda 6 on display by BJ Marine in Swords

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Sean Kyne TD, Minister with responsibility for the Inland Fisheries Sector today welcomed Inland Fisheries Ireland‘s announcement that, at a positive and constructive meeting of its Fish Farming Working Group, it was confirmed by IFI that they will continue to produce fish and make them available to angling clubs throughout 2018, and thereafter.

The Fish Farming Working Group is comprised of members of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Board and Executive as well as the two main trout angling organisations, the Trout Angling Federation of Ireland (TAFI) and National Anglers Representative Association (NARA).

IFI also outlined its actions taken to date in relation to tendering for the design of a new fish farming facility and, at its subsequent January Board meeting held on the 31st of January, the Board agreed to proceed with a tender for this project. The Board had previously confirmed its commitment to developing a comprehensive strategy to meet current and future trout production needs, subject to securing the investment required.

Minister Kyne said: “The future success and development of the sector depends on the close co-operation and constructive approach of both IFI and the stakeholders, pulling together for the greater good. The fact that the Fish Farming Working Group has begun 2018 with such a positive meeting is very much to be welcomed and I look forward to hearing more, and being part of, similar productive dialogue over the coming months and years.”

The Minister also welcomed the Group’s discussions, in the context of the future advancement of the sector, on the wider development of youth angling generally and the potential for developing urban angling locations.

The next meeting of the Working Group is currently scheduled for late February.

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US Anglers narrowly escaped certain injury when a motorboat collided with their small fishing boat. See video below.

An Oregon fisherman whose dramatic escape from an oncoming motorboat was caught on video is suing the driver of the other boat for $372,500.

Bryan Maess alleges the other driver was distracted by cell phone use during the accident.

Maess filed the lawsuit this month. The Hermiston police officer and two friends were forced to jump into the Columbia River to avoid being crushed by the oncoming speeding boat in August 2017.

A GoPro video of the crash, posted on the magazine Salmon Trout Steelheader's Facebook page, has been viewed more than 250,000 times since Jan. 16.

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