Inland Fisheries Ireland has launched its Sponsorship Fund for 2017 which will support angling events and initiatives across the country. The fund supported 44 events to the tune of €30,000 in 2016 with a particular focus on initiatives which help grow Ireland’s angling tourism product and support novice anglers. Angling in Ireland is currently worth €836 million to Ireland’s economy annually, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs.
Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Sponsorship Fund aims to support large international competitions held in Ireland which showcase Ireland’s angling offering and contribute to local economies. The fund also contributes to novice angler events which increase participation in angling among those who have recently taken up fishing. Finally, it also helps initiatives which disseminate information which promote conservation and protection of the inland fisheries and sea angling resource and can include seminars, workshops and training. Support from the Sponsorship Fund can be either financial or resource support from Inland Fisheries Ireland staff members.
Angling offers rural communities the opportunity to increase the number of visitors to the area and in turn, support local business and create jobs by providing a sustainable source of income for both catering and accommodation services. Inland Fisheries Ireland’s National Strategy for Angling Development aims to increase overseas angling visits from 163,000 in 2015 to 173,000 and increase domestic participation of 273,000 anglers annually by 0.5%. If this is realised, angling could bring in an additional €53 million annually and support 1,800 jobs.
Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “We are delighted to launch our Sponsorship Fund for 2017 which will support angling clubs and groups nationwide in delivering programmes which ultimately drive angling participation rates. There is a huge network of angling communities nationwide and we want to support them in offering local events which engage domestic anglers, overseas anglers and those who are about to cast for the first time.
Ireland has some of the best wild fisheries in Europe and as a destination, we have a unique opportunity to grow our angling tourism product. This Sponsorship Fund is just one element of our National Strategy for Angling Development which aims to develop our angling tourism potential while also managing and conserving our fisheries resource.”
Inland Fisheries Ireland’s National Strategy for Angling Development is the first comprehensive national framework which will deliver a wide-ranging set of investments, innovations and promotions over the coming five years. It aims to make angling accessible and attractive through information, infrastructure and support, to develop tourism through the promotion of the angling resource and to position angling as a key leisure and recreation pursuit. The Strategy will deliver significant economic benefits in rural communities where much of angling takes place, while also ensuring that fish populations and habitats are protected and conserved.
Applications for funding from the Sponsorship Fund are now invited from angling clubs, associations or any local group organising an angling initiative. The scheme will remain open for applications until Friday, 9th of December 2016 and all applications can be made online at www.fisheriesireland.ie/funding. Awards will be subject to budget availability and adherence to the scheme requirements.