Catch a bluefin tuna and help conserve the species

Angling Notes: Under a new data collection programme, fish will be tagged and released

Expressions of interest are invited for Tuna Chart, a pilot bluefin tuna data collection programme, which will allow 15 authorised angling vessels to catch, tag and release Atlantic tuna for data purposes off the Irish coast during 2019.

Previously, under the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (Iccat) rules, Ireland could not allow targeted angling for data collection. However, changes secured at last year's Iccat meeting will now allow limited targeting by recreational anglers.

Atlantic bluefin is the largest tuna; it can reach over 600kg and live for more than 30 years. It migrates past the Irish coastline during its journey from the Mediterranean and Central Atlantic.

Applicants will be assessed on the following criteria: a) Previous experience in research and scientific work; b) Minimum of five years’ experience of sea angling activity in Irish waters; c) Experience in targeting large pelagic fish; d) Equipped to target large pelagic fish and willingness to operate under authorisation controls.


Minister for Inland Fisheries Seán Canney said: “This is an opportunity for charter skippers to contribute to data collection and support important research. I want to commend Inland Fisheries Ireland’s involvement bringing to bear their expertise in the recreational fishing sector and their longstanding experience in tagging marine fish.”

The new programme is being developed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Interested persons who wish to apply for authorisation are invited to visit to download an information guide and to submit an application.

Catches worth keeping on the Corrib

Last week on the Corrib, in the Cornamona area, Tom "Doc" Sullivan reported good angling in the area. Steve Carew and Ray Hickey of Fulling Mill Flies fished for two days on wet mayflies and landed 16 keepable fish, best 3lb. Neil Carmichael had a cracking 4lb trout on a wet mayfly on his first day.

In the Oughterard area, Basil Shields of Ardnasillagh Lodge said the mid-to-lower lake areas were most productive. Larry Kelly (Dublin) and John Jacks (Scotland) had 42 fish over 14 days on mayfly and buzzer, some over 5lb. Colin Wright (Belfast) had 11 for four days and John Evans had 12 for two days on dry mayfly.

Kevin Molloy of Baurisheen Bay Boat Hire said Harry Couch and family, dapping in the area for eight days, averaged six fish per day, while Richard and Hugo McGuire had seven on wets and dries for their day.

Mackerel elude crack Irish Times angling squad

A group from The Irish Times enjoyed a day's boat fishing off Hook Head in Co Wexford last Saturday. In slack winds and slow running tide, the group encountered plenty of pollack, followed by coalfish and codling. Mackerel, though, were scarce.

The 40ft charter boat Orinoco, owned by Walter Foley, is ideally suited for deep-sea fishing with all the mod cons. For booking, call Walter at (087) 243 7148.

Tipperary woman wins RNLI volunteering award

Lough Derg lifeboat helm and former press officer Eleanor Hooker received the Excellence in Volunteering award in recognition of her outstanding contribution as an RNLI volunteer, at a recent function in Dromineer, Co Tipperary.

The award recognises the special contribution of volunteers who have gone the extra mile and who make a difference, whether they are outstanding ambassadors or unsung heroes who quietly ensure the success of every venture.

Niamh Stephenson, RNLI media relations manager, said: "Eleanor Hooker was press officer at Lough Derg for 11 years. In that time she has done an incredible job in raising the profile of the inland lifeboat station and bringing the wonderful work of the crew to the attention of the wider community."

Welsh initiative to repel invaders

Wales Resilient Ecological Network (WaREN) is devising a new collaborative framework funded by the Welsh government that will help groups to work together to tackle the impact of invasive species.

While the EU has a list of 49 “species of union concern”, 16 of these are already in Wales, all of which have a negative impact on the environment, economy and wellbeing of people in Wales.

Wales's minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: "The Welsh government has contributed towards a number of initiatives including 'Our River Wellbeing Project', in which local volunteers clear, on an annual basis, over 120km of invasive species from the River Dee catchment."

WaREN is keen to engage with organisations, businesses and community groups with an interest in tackling invasive species. Please get in touch by contacting: