• Cork, Clare, Donegal, Kerry and Wexford had the highest catch rates per county
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland seeking more anglers to sign up to a citizen science app that monitors marine fish

Mackerel, Pollack, Dogfish, Seabass and Whiting were the most-widely caught fish species by Ireland’s 250,000 sea anglers in 2022, according to new data from Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI).

The results are taken from IFI’s interactive, Irish Marine Recreational Angling Survey (IMREC) app, which enables anglers to log their catch details on their phones as they fish.

Fish in a net

Other data revealed by Irish shore and boat anglers – fishing along more than 3,000 kilometres of coastline – during 2022, reveals that:

  • Counties Cork, Clare, Donegal, Kerry and Wexford were hotspots for marine angling;
  • During 2022 anglers spent an average of 42 hours each, fishing by the/at sea;
  • An average of just over 80 fish were caught by recreational fishermen/women annually;
  • During a single trip anglers caught more than six fish;
  • Catch and release rates were over 80%;
  • Approximately six different species were caught per angler annually.

Flounder, Poor Cod, Dab, Ballan Wrasse and Smooth-Hound were also among the top 10 most-caught fish species brought ashore around Ireland’s coasts last year.

A survey of 1,200 sea anglers by IFI in 2021 showed that more than 90% of respondents said they primarily fished to relax and unwind, and be in the outdoors.

In addition, they reported spending an average of €100 per fishing trip on food and drink, transport and bait.

They paid a further €970 annually on items such as rods, reels, clothing, and on fishing and boating expenses.

Fishing at the beach
Sea angling is a free and fun activity, which can be practised all year round.

Sea anglers of any experience are invited to sign up to the IFI IMREC app via the IFI website, and an explanatory how-to video guide to IMREC is available here.

Hobby fishermen/women who use the online diary tool can easily log their trips, attach photos of their catches, record details such as tide, weather and bait used, and look back over previous sessions on their own interactive map.

The IMREC app is not available via Google Play or App Store, but is a web-based app that is accessed through an online browser.

IMREC Diary Report 2022