Up to €1m now available for fisheries conservation
Inland Fisheries Ireland has launched a funding call of up to €1 million, to support vital conservation projects around the country through the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund.
Since 2016, more than €6 million in grants have been awarded to over 280 projects throughout the country under various funding schemes, operated by Inland Fisheries Ireland.
From now until December 16th, eligible angling clubs, fishery owners and other stakeholders are invited to express their interest in applying for funding to support fisheries conservation through Inland Fisheries Ireland’s ‘Habitats and Conservation’ scheme.
Priority will be given to projects that focus on habitat rehabilitation and conservation, such as rehabilitating damaged river habitats, improving water quality, and helping fish overcome physical barriers, like weirs.
In similar schemes in 2022, a total of €1,123,000 in funding was approved for 35 habitats and conservation projects based in Cavan, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Wexford, Westmeath and Wicklow.
Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said that the scheme’s focus is on protecting and conserving fish species and their habitats for future generations. She said: “Since 2016, projects under the Habitats and Conservation Fund have delivered approximately 29 kilometres of in-stream maintenance works and 37 kilometres of habitat restoration works. As well as that, 83 kilometres of spawning and nursery habitats have been made more accessible to migratory fish species, through five fish passage projects. Under the Habitats and Conservation Scheme, which is made possible through fishing licence and permit income, groups can now apply for grants to fund projects and measures in 2023 to continue this vital environmental work.”
In addition to the €1 million in funding available through the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund, up to €50,000 is available through the Midlands Fisheries Fund.
An information guide about the funding call is available to download. As part of the two-step process, all applicants must firstly complete an ‘Expression of Interest’ application on Inland Fisheries Ireland’s online grant management portal before 5:30pm on Friday, December 16th 2022.
After expressions of interest have been completed, full applications that align to fund objectives can be submitted via the online grant management portal until 5:30pm on Friday, January 27th, 2023.
Habitats and Conservation Funding Call 2023
The 2023 funding call consists of two schemes made up of angler contributions to both funds.
The Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund (SSTRCPF) (FUNDING AVAILABLE: UP TO €1 Million)
The aim of this fund is to rehabilitate, protect and conserve Salmon and Sea Trout and their habitats. This year, funding will be available for habitat rehabilitation and conservation projects only (e.g., fish passage improvement, spawning enhancement, instream and bank protection, fencing, the removal and control of invasive species, etc.).
The Midlands Fisheries Fund (MFF) (FUNDING AVAILABLE: UP TO €50,000)
This scheme focuses on sustainable development works in the midland fisheries permit area. The fund has been created through contributions from the permit income received via the Midlands Fisheries Group permit. Projects which will be eligible to receive support will improve fish habitats in a sustainable manner (e.g., habitat enhancement, control of exotic species etc.).
Eligibility to apply
Financial assistance under the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund is generated by the sale of salmon and sea trout angling licences and commercial fishing licences in Ireland. The Midlands Fisheries Fund is financed through contributions from permit income, received through the Midlands Fisheries Group permit area. To be eligible, applicants to the SSTRCPF must have purchased a valid salmon and sea trout angling licence or have paid fishery rates or for the MFF, hold a current Midlands Fisheries Group permit.
The following timelines will be in place for the duration of the 2023 call:
- Expressions of interest must be completed on-line before 5:30pm on Friday, 16th of December 2022
- Full applications must be submitted on-line to Inland Fisheries Ireland before 5:30pm on Friday, 27th January 2023
- Decisions on applications and grants will be announced by Inland Fisheries Ireland in May 2023