ESRI casts wide for angling study
Anglers are being asked to help the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) assess the true scale of the Irish angling industry, which is estimated to be worth €800m per year to the economy.
Angling attracts over 100,000 visitors to Ireland every year, but the ESRI believes greater knowledge of the factors which attract visitors here will allow for increased development of the industry in the years ahead.
ESRI researcher John Curtis, who is leading the project, said: "More substantial research is required to develop fisheries in a way that promotes increased participation in angling.
"The research findings will inform decision-making by Inland Fisheries Ireland that improves the sport for anglers but ultimately sustains a vital economic activity and maximises the productivity of under-utilised natural resources."
Anglers from across Europe are attracted to Ireland because of the diverse range of fish found in rivers and lakes and close to the sea shore. Rivers like the Shannon and the Corrib have long been attractive hubs for anglers from Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, France and the UK.
The study will explore the areas of water quality, catch-and-release policies, catch sizes, bag limits and pollution control.
The ESRI estimates that there are over 400,000 active anglers using Irish waters on an annual basis. Brown trout and salmon fishing are the most popular forms of angling here.
A spokesperson for Inland Fisheries Ireland said: "IFI encourages anglers to participate in the study which will help inform the decision making process to improve the sport in the future.
"Participation in angling can provide many health and well-being benefits by affording the opportunity to spend extended time in the outdoors environment.
"Angling forms a core part of Irish tourism product with tourism angling spend estimated at over €300m on an annual basis."