Public asked to complete online survey which will inform future of funding programmes for angling development, conservation and promotional initiatives
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is looking for public feedback on its current funding programmes. The organisation has awarded over €3.4 million to angling projects and fisheries initiatives in communities nationwide over the past five years. It is now looking for feedback via an online survey (www.fisheriesireland.ie/fundingsurvey) which will help inform the future direction of funding schemes.
Funding from Inland Fisheries Ireland is available to anglers and fisheries interests for development and conservation projects alongside other sponsorship initiatives through a number of annual funding programmes. The current funding channels include the Salmon Conservation Fund and the Midlands Fisheries Fund which see Inland Fisheries Ireland redistribute income gained from permits and licenses as well as IFI’s Sponsorship Programme.
Inland Fisheries Ireland is looking to consult with previous recipients of funding alongside interested parties and potential applicants, on whether the funding programmes are meeting requirements and if there are any changes which could be made to improve them. The aim is to engage with stakeholders on how to develop the programmes from project identification and design to funding application and evaluation.
During the lifetime of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Corporate Plan (2011-2015), IFI distributed €3,453,354 in total to angling initiatives through several funding programmes. The Salmon Conservation Fund awarded €2.8 million and the Midland Fisheries Fund provided €190,058 in support while Inland Fisheries Ireland’s own Sponsorship Programme granted €301,350 and the former Co-Op (Trout and Coarse Fisheries Development) Fund gave €161,946.
Sean Kyne TD, the Minister with responsibility for the Inland Fisheries Sector encouraged stakeholders to take part in the online survey and said “the programmes ensure that stakeholders are facilitated and partnered to assist in the strategic development of fisheries and angling developments. The angling sector is worth €836 million to Ireland’s economy annually, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs”.
In October 2016, Inland Fisheries Ireland will invite applications for funding for angling access improvement works. These projects should contribute to the delivery of an accessible and sustainable world class inland fisheries and sea angling resource and will form part of the National Strategy for Angling Development. While this fund will be limited to ‘shovel ready’ projects on the river bank, further funding opportunities for more complex capital projects are likely early in 2017.
Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Inland Fisheries Ireland is committed to investing in angling communities nationwide and these funding programmes offer us the appropriate mechanism for us to do so. We have supported angling and fisheries development to the sum of €3.4m over the past five years during the lifetime of our previous corporate strategy. As we are now embarking on a new chapter, it is important to reflect and evaluate the success of these initiatives.
We are calling on those who have received funding from IFI in the past, those who previously applied but who didn’t meet criteria or those who simply might be interested in applying for funding in the future to take our short online survey (www.fisheriesireland.ie/fundingsurvey) and let us know what is working about the funding schemes and what could be improved. We know the value of the fisheries resource to local communities, both from a recreational and economic perspective and we want to ensure that we maximise it as far as possible in a conservation focused manner.”
The funding survey should take less than five minutes to complete with all participants entered into a draw to win one of three €50 tackle shop vouchers. The survey is open to angling clubs, commercial fishermen, fishery promoters, community and local development groups as well as private individuals. To find out more information about Inland Fisheries Ireland’s funding programmes and to take the short funding survey, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie/fundingsurvey . The survey will be live on the Inland Fisheries Ireland website until the 8th of November.