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Local Fishermen celebrated by Inland Fisheries Ireland

March 28th, 2017 | by

Collaboration between fishermen and scientists focuses on conservation

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.
 
 
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 pictured at Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day

Oran Roche from Clashmore, Co. Waterford
Fishing Location: Munster Blackwater

 

Jessie Dalton at Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day

Jessie Dalton from Delvin, Co. Westmeath
Fishing Location: Lough Muckno

 

Sean Doherty at Inland Fisheries Ireland's Scientific Eel Fishery Information Day

Sean Doherty from Cheekpoint, Co. Waterford
Fishing Location: Waterford Harbour

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

Donal O’ hOisin from Annaghdown, Co. Galway
Fishing Location: Lough Corrib

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

Herbie Power from Ballysimon, Co. Limerick
Fishing Location: Shannon Estuary

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

David Ryan from Cong, Co.Mayo
Fishing Location: Upper Corrib

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

Joe Ruddy from Foxford, Co. Mayo                                                                                Fishing Location: Lough Conn

 

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

Kieran Murray from Kilmessan, Co. Meath                                                       Fishing Location: Lough Ramor

 

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

James Kiernan from Riverstown, Co. Meath                                                            Fishing Location: Lough Ramor

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.

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