“The study results clearly demonstrate that anglers’ knowledge can provide an accurate picture of changing marine fish stocks,” said Samuel Shephard, a Senior Research Officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland.
He added: “Anglers have a leading role to play in conservation. They spend many hours outside, observing nature and the fish they catch. They may recall how different species have come and gone, and how average catches and sizes may have changed. Over an angling career, this experience can become a unique insight into the status of the fisheries. Inland Fisheries Ireland’s policy of collaborating, where possible, with angling citizen scientists and of harnessing their experiences can help us better understand long-term changes and how to protect these wonderful resources for the future.”
The FLEKSI tool paper is available to download from the ICES Journal of Marine Science website. The report is authored by Samuel Shephard (lead author), Diarmuid Ryan, Paul O’ Reilly and Willie Roche of Inland Fisheries Ireland.
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William Roche and Samuel Shephard of Inland Fisheries Ireland are available for interviews or to give further comment.
Notes to Editor:
The full title of the paper is called: Using local ecological knowledge to inform semi-quantitative fishery surveillance indicators: an example in marine recreational angling
Published by ICES Journal of Marine Science on 18th November 2021. Link: Using local ecological knowledge to inform semi-quantitative fishery surveillance indicators: an example in marine recreational angling | ICES Journal of Marine Science | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
About Inland Fisheries Ireland (www.fisheriesireland.ie)
Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communication (DECC) 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.