Angling generates €750 million dividend for Irish economy


THE Minister of State for Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd has welcomed the findings of a new national economic study which has revealed that angling and angling tourism in Ireland is generating a dividend in excess of €0.75 billion within the Irish economy every year.

Entitled Socio-Economic Study of Recreational Angling in Ireland and commissioned by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the study shows direct spending on angling amounted to €555 million in 2012, with indirect spending worth an additional €200 million.

Recreational angling was also found to directly support 10,000 existing Irish jobs, many of which are located in the most rural parts of the Irish countryside and coastline.

The study found that 406,000 people were involved in recreational angling last year, with more than 150,000 travelling from Northern Ireland and overseas. Over a quarter of a million Irish adults held a fishing rod with sea, salmon and brown trout angling seen as the most popular categories among domestic anglers.

Tourism angling spend amounts to approximately €280 million each year and cited amongst the principal attractions were the quality of the angling product, the friendliness and hospitality of the Irish people and the outstanding scenery.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister said: “From the industry perspective, the strategic development and marketing is essential and has been given new impetus in light of what we now know about the visiting and spending patterns of anglers.

It is equally clear to me that maintaining a strong focus on the protection and conservation of this vital resource is absolutely key if we are to sustain and grow these benefits to anglers, angling businesses and the Irish economy.”

The study, carried out by consultants Tourism Development International, was undertaken to help underpin effective strategic planning and decision making in respect of development and marketing of the angling product.

Dr Ciaran Byrne, IFI’s chief executive, commented “Clearly fish stocks and fish habitat must be conserved, protected and developed. IFI is committed to these goals and with our stakeholders and support of Government, state agencies and a new angling marketing and development plan we will achieve them.”

The study can be downloaded from

*Game angling is virtually at a standstill with the fisheries board requesting anglers to desist from angling during these extreme conditions if practising catch and release. However, three of our big rivers, the Moy, Ballisodare and Corrib continue to provide good sport, albeit on a limited scale.

*Christy Lane from Cork caught a near record smooth-hound last weekend while fishing aboard charter boat Lisín, skippered by Kit Dunne out from Wicklow Harbour. The fish weighed 7.51kg (16.25lb), just .01kg (.33lb) short of the Irish record set in 2000 at Carne.

The smooth-hound was weighed on the pier after four hours in a water tank. “It probably was a record” skipper Kit Dunne said before safely releasing the fish. For bookings, tel. 087-6832179.

*At Delphi Club, Bahamas, Peter Mantle said: “It’s been our busiest and best season as guest numbers continued to grow, many returning for the second, third or fourth time. With over 3,000 fish caught, very few anglers were disappointed.”

Highlights included Ian Davis’s big permit, Doug Pruessing’s first-for-the-club tarpon and James Henchey’s extraordinary catches of bonefish. October to December saw huge schools of bonefish on the Marls giving many people sore arms and raw fingers.

“Advance bookings are running at unprecedented levels and several weeks are already full. Our prices remain the same and we continue to offer the popular June/July summer special,” Mantle said. Contact:

*The Lough Currane fundraising catch and release sea trout flyfishing competition organised by The Waterville Fisheries Development Group, will take place on Fri./Sat. 9th/10th August, with over €3,000 worth of prizes.

Competitors will be limited to 40 and, if more than 40 apply, preference will be given to those who have fished the competition in previous years and those who are members of the Waterville Fisheries Development Group.

Anglers intending to fish should be in readiness for a 10.30am start. The entry fee is €180 inclusive of dinner on the Saturday evening and fully refundable if competition is cancelled for any reason.


Captions for pics

Christy Lane from Cork with his near Irish record smooth-hound of 7.52kg caught while fishing out from Wicklow Harbour.

The Minister of State for Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd getting in some casting practice with Inland Fisheries Ireland CEO Dr Ciaran Byrne on the River Suir.

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