Rural communities invited to get involved in new policy framework for inland fisheries

Minister Eamon Ryan is encouraging rural communities to get involved in the process of developing new policy framework for inland fisheries. 

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is focused on developing a “comprehensive and modern policy framework” for inland fisheries in Ireland and the first step in achieving this is the publication of ‘Towards a Policy Framework for Inland Fisheries in Ireland – A Roadmap’.

The roadmap will be focused on conservation, sustainable management and on “reimagining our relationship with this precious national resource”.  

The roadmap is broadly intended for those who have an interest in fisheries; rural development; biodiversity; natural habitats; water quality; climate action; and wider sustainability.

Stakeholders could represent a wide range of interests, including rural and coastal communities; environmental non-governmental agencies (NGOs); local authorities; the hospitality sector; and other regulatory bodies.

Minister Ryan encouraged all interested parties to get involved early on in the process: “You may have information and ideas that can help shape the future of the sector in Ireland.

“By taking part in this process, you can influence the decisions being made about the future of Ireland’s inland fisheries.”

Contribution to the rural economy

In terms of angling alone, the inland fisheries sector supports over 11,000 jobs – mainly in rural areas – and is estimated to be worth well in excess of half a billion euro annually to the economy.

However, according to the department, an imbalance exists currently in terms of the economic, social and environmental considerations around inland fisheries.

Ireland has seen a decline in stocks of a number of species on which commercial fishing activities are based. Unabated, this decline could lead to irretrievable losses in the resource.

“Not only would this lead to fundamental biodiversity and cultural loss, it would also critically undermine the existing and potential societal and economic contribution of the inland fisheries sector.”