Inland fisheries Ireland and the Irish Charter skippers Association had a meeting arranged to discuss current developments / monitoring activity in marine waters.
The ICSA was represented by Donal Kennedy (Chair) Luke Aston (Sec) Eamon Hayes and Adrian Molloy
This was considered very topical due to all developments around ORE and MPA’s and the recent directive from the EU requiring reporting on all “leisure fishing”.
Leisure fishing is a term used in fisheries management that is broader than just sports angling but in the context of a new requirement that all commercial fishing boats under 10mtrs will also have to report all catches, it is a directive that we will have to take seriously as a body representing sports fisherman. Especially in the context of the recent slashing of the TAC for Pollack to commercial boats.
It was pointed out that a recent study found that Sea Angling was worth €229 million a year to the Irish economy, so while that figure was vital in defending the fish taken it was felt that there was a big information deficit in the detail of catch rates and areas of activity. It was pointed out that on government websites like marineplan. ie sailing had a big footprint but angling was not even listed.
The IFI have been running the IMREC fish catch survey over the last 2 years but like all these things,unless there is enough information gathered, then the results can vary massively depending on the multiplier that is used.
There was also a presentation on the Marine sports tagging program and the very useful information that was gathered. But the number of charter skipper involved has fallen from 39 in 2007 to 9 in 2022. It would be a big support if skippers would commit to tagging just 20 fish per year.
There was a review of the BFT Chart fisheries and Adrian made some very valid points around the need for this to progress and to offer serious sports fisherman the chance to fish under more normal international practices. It was felt that a latter from the ICSA to the