Local Fishermen celebrated by Inland Fisheries Ireland

Collaboration between fishermen and scientists focuses on conservation
Tuesday, 28th March 2017: Local eel fishermen were celebrated recently at an Information Day hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland in Athlone. The fishermen, who are involved in Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Scientific Eel Fisheries in different parts of the country, attended the event which aimed to provide an update on the progress made through the Scientific Eel Fisheries and to recognise the contribution of the fishermen to date.  
In total, there are eleven fishermen involved in the initiative with many experienced in fishing for eels over several years. Since last year, they have provided support to Inland Fisheries Ireland by helping to fish for eel in a conservation focused manner with a view to gathering necessary data which will help protect the species into the future. Their local expertise and historical knowledge around eels in their local area has given invaluable support to Inland Fisheries Ireland during the set up and delivery of the Scientific Eel Fishery.
Inland Fisheries Ireland commenced the process of setting up a network of scientific fisheries for eel around Ireland in 2016. These scientific fisheries cover the different life stages (glass eel, elver, yellow and silver eel) and are distributed in key catchments around Ireland. The purpose of the fisheries is to increase the knowledge around eels in Ireland ahead of the next EU review of this endangered species and to inform the management of eel populations which are currently in decline. 
Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research and Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “The commercial fishermen involved in this project have historical and local knowledge around eel habits in the area. In many cases, this has been passed down through the generations. This important partnership between eel fishermen and research has one shared objective, to improve our knowledge of the state of the eel populations and to ensure their conservation for future generations.  Inland Fisheries Ireland appreciates the benefit of Citizen Science programmes such as this one which will preserve the heritage of eel fishing and at the same time deliver on the research requirements needed to report to the EU. I would like to recognise and thank all the fishermen involved for their support.”
Citizen science is growing in popularity and encompasses many different ways in which citizens who are non-scientists, are involved in scientific research projects. The involvement of fishermen in the Scientific Eel Fisheries plays an important role in respecting the tradition and heritage of eel fishing in Ireland. Many of the fishermen come from families where eel fishing has been practised across several generations with local expertise and knowledge passed down through the years. 
Attending the Information Day were some of the fishermen involved in the Scientific Eel Fishery.They were pictured with Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO, Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research and Development and Dr Ciara O'Leary, Research Officer at Inland Fisheries Ireland:

Oran Roche from Clashmore, Co. Waterford

Fishing Location: Munster Blackwater


Sean Doherty from Cheekpoint, Co. Waterford

Fishing Location: Waterford Harbour


Jessie Dalton from Delvin, Co. Westmeath

Fishing Location: Lough Muckno



Donal O' hOisin from  Annaghdown, Co. Galway

Fishing Location: Lough Corrib

Donal O'hOisin attending Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day



Herbie Power from Ballysimon, Co. Limerick

Fishing Location: Shannon Estuary

Herbie Power attending Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day


David Ryan from Cong, Co.Mayo

Fishing Location: Upper Corrib

David Ryan at Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day


Joe Ruddy from Foxford, Co.Mayo

Fishing Location: Lough Conn

Joe Ruddy at Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day


Kieran Murray from Kilmessan, Co. Meath

Fishing Location: Lough Ramor

Kieran Murray at Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day


James Kiernan from Riverstown, Co. Meath

Fishing Location: Lough Ramor

James Kiernan at Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day


For further information:
Órla Sheils
Communications Manager
Tel: (01) 8842673
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About Inland Fisheries Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes, supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same.