Funds to help se­cure the fu­ture of angling

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS - By 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.

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

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