Press Release 17th February 2013

Minister O’Dowd presents specimen fish awards to anglers

The Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) held its Specimen Fish Awards Day yesterday in Swords, Co, Dublin. Successful anglers from all over Ireland who caught specimen fish in lakes, rivers or in the sea in 2012 were congratulated by Fergus O’Dowd TD, Minister of State for Natural Resources, on their excellent achievements. 2012 was a record year with a total of 640 specimen fish being ratified.

The Minister said: “the Government recognises that angling is hugely important to the tourist industry and to the economy generally. Preliminary information from a survey commissioned by IFI estimates that angling tourism spend is €250m million per annum – approximately €150m of which is generated by domestic anglers. Angling opportunities in Ireland are among the best in the world and this is reflected in the demand for the product and the numbers engaged in it both at home and from abroad.

Minister O'Dowd, Norman Dunlop and Derek Davis

The quality of our angling resource is reflected in the annual report of the Irish Specimen Fish Committee. The Committee accepted over 640 claims in 2012 – a record. Irish anglers took over 90% of these fish with visitors from overseas taking the remainder.”

The Minster also emphasized the importance of the half century of information about large fish caught by anglers in Ireland, both freshwater and marine, which has been collected by the ISFC over the years. This information is not only an important historical and heritage record but also a vital guide for anglers when choosing the best angling venues, dates, times and method to catch large specimens of their favourite species.

Anglers departed the awards event with their certificates and plenty of information to target new species in the new angling season in 2013.

The Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) report 2013 can be downloaded from

If you catch a big fish in 2013 log on to the website to see how to register your fish as a specimen. …


For Media Enquires

Suzanne Campion
Swords Business Campus, Swords, Co. Dublin.
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Notes to Editor:

Founded in 1955, the Irish Specimen Fish Committee is an independent voluntary body, representative of angling interests in Ireland, whose principal function is to verify, record and publicise the capture of large (i.e. specimen) fish caught on rod and line by anglers in Ireland, both in freshwater and marine waters. The Committee also ratifies Irish record rod caught fish. The ISFC coordinates and administers the unique specimen awards scheme which is designed to recognize any angler who catches a specimen fish. Successful anglers are awarded a certificate and a commemorative badge. Specially commissioned silver medals are presented to captors of record fish and special awards are also made to captors of multiple specimen fish (on a cumulative basis). The ISFC offices are based in Inland Fisheries Ireland offices in Swords.

The Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI)is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Its principal functions are to advise the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on policy relating to the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries and sea angling.