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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) proposes to draft a scheme in accordance with Section 11 of the Official Languages Act 2003, which aims to ensure better availability and a higher standard of public services through Irish.

The State agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats now wishes to invite representations in relation to the preparation of the draft scheme from any interested parties.

Submissions should be addressed to [email protected] Alternatively, they may be posted to: Irish Language Scheme Public Consultation, Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 CK66.

Information in relation to the mandate and role/services provided to the public by IFI is available on www.fisheriesireland.ie.

The latest date for receipt of representations is Wednesday 6 July.

IFI asks those making submissions to hindly note that:

  1. Everyone who takes part in an IFI consultation will be notified of the final document emerging from the consultation process.
  2. The names of respondents and their submissions will be published on IFI’s website at the end of each consultation process (ie at the time the document arising from the consultation is published). Any further information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘Personal data ‘as defined under Article 4 of GDPR) will be redacted prior to publication on the IFI website.
  3. IFI is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and therefore has to consider any request made to it under that Act. IFI will provide advice as follows: ‘If you consider that any part of your submission would be subject to any of the statutory exclusions under that Act please so indicate in your submission, specifying under which exemption you believe the content should be excluded.’

All personal data that IFI may use is collected, processed and held in accordance with the provisions of EU Regulation 2016/679 General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

A version of this notice in Irish is available on the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

The Minister for the Environment has welcomed new funding to 34 projects in 14 counties under the Habitats and Conservation Scheme 2022 awarded by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Under two separate funds — the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund and the Midland Fisheries Fund — eligible angling clubs, commercial fishermen and fishery owners were invited to apply for financial assistance to support fisheries conservation projects in their local areas.

A total of €1,053,390 in funding for 34 projects has been approved so far this year, going to projects based in Cavan (€35k), Cork (€12k), Donegal (€90k), Dublin (€12k), Galway (€115k), Leitrim (€6k), Limerick (€116k), Louth (€45k), Mayo (€130Kk), Meath (€224k), Monaghan (€30k), Westmeath (€66k), Wexford (€30k), Wicklow (€9k) and a national project (€135k).

Examples of awards granted fisheries conservation funding include:

  • planning and assessment reports to find appropriate solutions for fish passage on barriers
  • construction of rock ramp passageways to make it easier for fish to migrate upstream and downstream of impassable weirs
  • carrying out catchment-focused feasibility studies, habitat management plans and environmental assessments to focus on appropriate and specific measures to benefit river habitats and species
  • improvements to water quality and river habitats by installing fences and providing solar powered water pumps to minimise agricultural impacts, thus encouraging natural riverbank regeneration and climate resilience of the watercourse
  • instream restoration works on spawning and nursery habitats for salmon and sea trout and introducing native Irish trees and shrubs along exposed riverbanks to benefit the long-term management of rivers
  • research to inform and improve national management strategies around salmonids

The announcement has been welcomed by Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications. “The funds awarded this year in the Habitats and Conservation Scheme will go towards a combination of work focused on conserving our freshwater fish and their habitats,” he said.

‘Healthy rivers and lakes are critical to a healthy ecosystem’

“The €1m fund will support angling clubs and fishery owners to improve habitats, water quality and fish passage in their immediate areas, while also supporting IFI personnel to deliver projects at a national level.

“Healthy rivers and lakes are critical to a healthy ecosystem and the works and studies supported by the scheme will also benefit the surrounding environment and the restoration of our natural resources.”

Since 2016, IFI — the State agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats — has made more than €5 million available through its various funding schemes.

“Conservation and protection are at the heart of the work we do and ensuring fish species like Atlantic salmon and sea trout get the best chance possible to thrive in our inland waters,” IFI’s Suzanne Campion said.

“The Habitats and Conservation Scheme is made possible through fishing licence income and promotes groups all over the country to be able to work on projects and measures that benefit the conservation of salmon, sea trout and their freshwater habitats.”

Financial assistance under the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund (SSTRCPF, total of €1,003,390) is generated by the sale of salmon and sea trout angling licences and commercial fishing licences in Ireland. The Midlands Fisheries Fund (MFF, total of €50,000) is financed through contributions from permit income, received through the Midlands Fisheries Group permit area.

To be eligible, applicants to the SSTRCPF must have purchased a valid salmon and sea trout angling licence or a commercial fishing licence or, for the MFF, hold a current Midlands Fisheries Group permit.

IFI says further allocations of funding may be announced later in the year.

Published in Angling

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that an Inland Fisheries Ireland fish stock survey will take place on Lough Ree from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 25 June.

Survey nets will be set in up to 100 locations on Lough Ree depending on weather and other factors. All nets will be marked with orange buoys and identified with “IFI Survey” markings.

IFI vessels will be operating by day and night on the inland waterway during the survey.

Masters of vessels are requested to maintain a sharp lookout while underway on Lough Ree and to give all marked buoys a wide berth.

Published in Inland Waterways

Two young artists from Cork and Dublin have scooped the winning prizes in the 2022 Something Fishy national poster competition, with a third student from Laois being awarded the Special Judges’ Category prize.

The competition, which is organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in conjunction with Blackrock Education Centre, received artistic entries from across the country.

Madelena Duggan, a sixth-class pupil from Ardfield National School in Clonakilty, Co Cork and Emma Kilmurry, a fifth-class pupil from Sacred Heart School, Clondalkin, Co Dublin each won in their category for their conservation-themed poster.

While Katie O’Neill, a sixth-class pupil from Presentation Portarlington Primary School, Portarlington, Co Laois won the Special Judges’ Category prize.

Madelena Duggan, 6th class winner, Ardfield National School, Clonakilty, CorkMadelena Duggan, 6th class winner, Ardfield National School, Clonakilty, Cork

Earlier this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, primary school students around the country were challenged by IFI to create a poster with the ‘catch-photo-release’ (CPR) message that could be used in awareness campaigns.

Announcing the winners, Suzanne Campion of IFI said: “We received a host of beautiful posters containing important conservation-based messaging. It is reassuring to see the level of awareness that today’s young people have on issues around conservation and protection of our fisheries resource.

“Engagement in these issues early on is promising for future generations to be active stewards over our inland fisheries and the surrounding environment.”

The overall winners will receive a tablet to the value of €500 each and the winner of the Special Judges’ Category will receive a tablet to the value of €200.

Emma Kilmurry, 5th class, Sacred Heart School, Clondalkin, DublinEmma Kilmurry, 5th class, Sacred Heart School, Clondalkin, Dublin

Niamh Murray, director of Blackrock Education Centre added: “It was fantastic to see the number of entries in this year’s Something Fishy competition. I was incredibly impressed by the standard of artwork created by the young people. They are all winners as far as I am concerned!

“It is also greatly encouraging to witness young people wanting to be involved in environmental issues and the competition was a perfect way to harness this interest. The future looks very good with such committed, environmentally aware young people. Their artwork will go on to feature in awareness campaigns nationally on fish conservation.”

The national poster competition is an important element of the wider Something Fishy Educational Programme, aimed at primary school pupils aged between ten and thirteen. It educates students on the importance of biodiversity and on having sustainable habitats, fish and angling. Information about the programme is available from somethingfishy.ie

Published in Angling

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has ordered an investigation of Inland Fisheries Ireland following claims of serious irregularities at the State body for inland and inshore fisheries, according to Independent.ie.

It’s reported that senior counsel has been appointed to investigate allegations such as misuse of funds and company property, as well as the claim that a number of IFI company vehicles — one of which was in a collision — have been used on the road while uninsured.

Independent.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Two men have been convicted for being in the possession of illegally caught salmon on the River Fergus in Ennis, Co Clare and were ordered to pay fines following prosecutions taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Gerard Considine and Niall Considine, cousins with an address of Clarecastle, Co Clare, received a fine of €200 and costs of €471 each following their conviction at Ennis District Court on Friday 22 April by Judge Bernadette Owens.

IFI fisheries officers gave evidence in relation to the offence which occurred on 1 July 2021.

They outlined the facts of the case to the court of how both men had been apprehended following a night-time surveillance operation in the area after suspicious activity had been detected.

The men were found to be in possession of eight salmon illegally caught from the River Fergus in Ennis.

David McInerney, director of the Shannon River Basin District at IFI said: “Inland Fisheries Ireland has no tolerance for illegal fishing. Atlantic salmon stocks are in decline and need to be protected. Illegal fishing puts the already diminished stocks in further jeopardy.

“The river Fergus and the entire River Shannon catchment is closed for the harvesting of salmon due to the poor level of salmon stocks in the river.

“We appeal to the general public to report suspected instances of illegal fishing to IFI’s confidential 24/7 hotline number on 0818 34 74 24.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is launching a new survey that will tap into the knowledge of trout anglers in Lough Sheelin.

The survey will use a method developed by IFI called FLEKSI — Fishers’ Local Ecological Knowledge Surveillance Indicators — which will help to track ecological changes through local knowledge.

This new survey method features questions for anglers about their trout catch and about different aspects of the fishery now compared with when they started fishing on the lake.

The state agency responsible for the conservation and protection of freshwater fish, habitats and sea angling resources says that this accumulated local ecological knowledge is valuable, and has potential for citizen science that can provide important insights for fisheries management into the future.

Wild brown trout are well-known to feed opportunistically on seasonal gluts of prey, especially swarms of insects, such as mayflies, midges and sedge flies.

To select artificial flies and lures that ‘match the hatch’ — mimicking prey that trout are feeding on — trout anglers closely observe the lake environment and its wildlife throughout the angling season.

Dr Samuel Shephard, a senior research officer with IFI and one of the developers of the FLEKSI method, said: “We know how important anglers are as stewards of our fisheries resource and how attuned they are to changes in the lake environment from year to year.

“Anglers develop in-depth knowledge about their local lake fisheries over their angling career which can provide an important resource for fisheries science.

“With this new survey we want to use this unique insight to help track changes in Lough Sheelin’s trout stocks and ecosystems.”

Lough Sheelin in Co Cavan is one of Ireland’s most important wild brown trout fisheries, with a history of dramatic environmental changes over the last 40 years.

IFI says the FLEKSI survey will give trout anglers on Lough Sheelin an exciting opportunity to share their knowledge as citizen scientists and to make a valuable contribution towards fisheries management on the lake.

Each participant also has the opportunity to enter into a prize draw for angling tackle, with one €200 voucher and two €100 vouchers to be won.

If you fish for trout on Lough Sheelin, please take the opportunity to share your knowledge via the FLEKSI survey website HERE.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is looking for recreational sea anglers to take part in a citizen science project to help understand the health of fish stocks in Irish coastal waters.

By providing catch information, anglers can play their role in the in the long-term conservation and sustainability of the resource for future generations.

IFI says it’s seeking shore, small boat or charter anglers to collect and submit information on their sea fishing trips and catches around the coastline and submit it via an online diary for the Irish Marine Recreational Angling (IMREC) project.

The IMREC project aims to answer three main questions about sea angling:

  • How many people in Ireland fish?
  • How often do they fish?
  • What do they catch?

IFI along with ESRIs ArcGIS Hub have developed a free angling diary that allows you to create an account and easily submit angling sessions on your phone or other device, providing information which will contribute to the evaluation of our marine fish stocks.

The application also creates a handy personal diary dashboard for your own use and each logged diary session will be updated here.

This gives users an opportunity to view when, where and what fish you’ve caught along with any other notes (tides, rigs etc) that you may have submitted. A summary is also provided to give you an insight into how your season is progressing.

An angling bundle (including buff, line clippers and tape) will be sent to the first 20 anglers that sign up, and a €50 tackle voucher prize draw will be held every month for active users of the diary application.

The survey team at IFI say they understand the importance of fishing marks to anglers. For this reason, your sessions will only be visible to you and the IMREC survey team.

If you are interested, the IMREC initiative is now live and can be viewed here. To take part, sign up on the web or send your name and email to [email protected] with the subject line “IMREC Diary Sign Up”.

A full FAQ along with further information on the project can be found on the IMREC website. Any further queries may be directed to [email protected]

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it would welcome a review of turbine operations at the Ardnacrusha power plant around the peak time for eel migrations.

The statement comes following the publication of its investigation into a report of a fish kill in the lower Shannon last December, allegedly resulting from eels passing through the hydroelectric turbines during Storm Barra.

IFI says a report was received from a member of the public on its confidential hotline late on 8 December, which relayed information seen on social media.

Fisheries officers undertook a detailed investigation during daylight over the next two days, with only one dead eel recovered.

“However, finding only one dead eel may have been due to a variety of reasons,” it says. “For example, there was a time lag between the incident and the reporting of the incident…. Therefore, dead eels may have been taken by predators or are very likely to have been swept further downstream.”

IFI notes the “well-established fact” that the use of hydroelectric turbines such as those used in the ESB plant at Ardnacrusha “results in significant mortalities of eels moving downstream to sea”.

It adds: “In fact, the operation of the turbines at the Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station is estimated to kill over 21% of the total run of down-migrating eels.”

The fisheries body emphasises that it does not have a statutory role in regulating operations at Ardnacrusha, and that fisheries on the River Shannon are owned by the ESB.

“However, Inland Fisheries Ireland would welcome a review of the flow and turbine operations around the time of peak silver eels’ migration. This would improve eel survival rates in the future and improve fish passage generally via the old River Shannon channel,” it says.

The report into this incident can be downloaded below.

Published in Angling

The deadline to enter the second online lottery for ‘brown tags’ for wild salmon angling on the Lower River Lee is midnight on Friday 8 April.

A further 38 brown tags will be issued on Monday 11 April, following the first lottery for 38 tags on 31 January, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Under brown tag regulations, an angler who wishes to ‘harvest’ a wild salmon and keep it must attach a brown tag as well as a standard blue tag to the fish.

To help conserve stocks of wild salmon within the Lower River Lee, No 5 or Cork District, a total of 152 brown tags will be available for the season and will be distributed to anglers with a 2022 rod licence through a series of online lotteries.

Anglers interested in entering the second draw are being asked to email their request to Inland Fisheries Ireland at [email protected] between now and midnight on Friday 8 April only.

Within this email, anglers must provide their name, contact address and telephone number and they must also quote their 2022 Salmon Licence number. Only one entry is permitted per licence holder into the draw.

Anglers with a 2022 rod licence who are not allocated a brown tag are only permitted to fish for salmon on a ‘catch and release’ basis on the Lower River Lee, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody.

Further details are available from the Inland Fisheries Ireland’s website or by phoning its Macroom office on (026) 41221.

Published in Angling
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