Thursday 20 June 2019

Funds to help secure future of angling

Ian Daly, Jim O’Brien and Peter O’Reilly, who are involved with the Fishing Futures project.
Ian Daly, Jim O’Brien and Peter O’Reilly, who are involved with the Fishing Futures project.

Esther Hayden

Fishing Futures, a project targeting local community groups in Wicklow, has been awarded funding from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) to help support its work.

The project, which is organised by the Wicklow Travellers Group, allows young people to experience fishing in a safe and supervised environment.

Fishing futures was established in November 2006 by a group of anglers and representatives from local community and statutory bodies.

Sean Canney, Minister with responsibility for the Inland Fisheries sector, has welcomed the initiative and the funding by Inland Fisheries Ireland of €1,630 through the National Strategy for Angling Development. 'This investment will support the purchase of new fishing equipment enabling larger groups to engage in angling trips and increase participation across the community', said Minister Canney.

'Over the coming year, local volunteer anglers and an outreach worker working with Wicklow Travellers Group will provide access to young people to organised angling activities as an enjoyable and rewarding component of healthy outdoor pursuits.'

Participants in the project will learn about water safety, bait collection and preservation, healthy lifestyle and practical angling skills. The project ultimately aims to provide novice anglers with the necessary skills to engage in mainstream angling with local clubs.

Since the inception of the project over 11 years ago, the project has engaged with many groups from the community. Some of the volunteer anglers who support the project today took part in the initiative themselves over a decade ago.

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: 'Fishing Futures is a fantastic project which helps young people access their local fisheries resource in a supportive environment.

'We are delighted to award funding as part of our National Strategy for Angling Development to many projects, such as this one in Wicklow, which will help increase participation in angling and secure the future of our precious and valuable natural resource as a result.'

The 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.

Wicklow People