Connecting the Celts

 

ANGLING NOTES:ALMOST half of the Newfoundland population can trace their ancestry to south-east Ireland, a marine leisure conference was told in New Ross, Co Wexford, recently. The one-day seminar, Rising Tide – Connecting Celtic Communities, focused on closer collaboration between the two countries in areas of fisheries, coastal tourism and local development.

Guest speaker Vicki O’Donnell from Coastal and Marine Resource Centre in Cork outlined the process used to develop marine leisure infrastructure planning in south and west Cork.

Emphasising the importance of mapping existing facilities, features and activities, O’Donnell said “strategies depended on a partnership approach involving state, local authority, private and community investment”.

The conference heard that, according to Fáilte Ireland, overseas visiting anglers spent €89.9 million in 2008.

A workshop on marine leisure infrastructure identified existing strengths, highlighting the Waterford Estuary as the gateway to the Barrow, Nore and Suir rivers. In addition, there remains a strong maritime tradition along the south-east coast.

Also discussed were opportunities to develop quays in towns and villages for tourism and linking in with specific events such as the 2011 Tall Ships visit to Waterford.

Lack of slipways, visitor moorings, a marina in Dunmore East, facilities to refuel, a fireboat, boarding gangways for tourists and disabled access were all mentioned as obstacles to development.

It was also suggested a forum be developed with agency, enterprise and community representation to further develop a strategy for the region.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Fisheries, Sean Connick, has announced an allocation of €156,000 to Wexford harbours, and Wexford County Council has added an additional €52,000, bringing the total investment to €208,000.

The allocation is as follows: Fethard-on-Sea (€26,500 towards harbour and slipway), Kilmore Quay (€54,750 for laydown area), Courtown (€18,750 for health and safety improvements), Duncannon, Ballyhack, Slade and Arthurstown (€56,250 for boat access and CCTV system).

Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI) has introduced a national 24-hour confidential phone line to encourage reporting of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species. Beginning on December 1st, the all-important number is 1890-347424 or for easier recall 1890 FISH 24.

Receiving timely information is critical to apprehending those responsible for damaging fish stocks or fish habitat. Important also is the public’s help to prevent the spread of invasive species, which results in millions of euro of damage to the aquatic environment.

The phone line will be run on a pilot basis for six months.

Dr Ciaran Byrne, chief executive officer for IFI, said: “This initiative is vital to our intelligence-led protection programme. Our aim is to stamp out antisocial practice of illegal fishing and to protect fish and fisheries habitat. I urge all those with an interest in preserving this wonderful natural resource to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.”

Angling for aChristmas gift? Gift vouchers for deep sea angling are obtainable from charter skipper John Brittain. Tel: 095-21073 or info@seafishingireland.net.

Details of the 2011 Irish Open Fly Tying Championships are available in the January issue of Irish Angler Magazinewhich is now on sale. Details will also be accessible soon at www.irelandflytying.com

angling@irishtimes.com