INLAND Fisheries Ireland, the state agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats and promotion of angling, has announced funding for projects under its annual Sponsorship Programme.
The programme supports novice or ‘beginner’ anglers and the development of sustainable angling tourism in Ireland, which could grow in popularity, particularly in rural and peripheral areas.
In Limerick, sponsorship funding was granted to the Irish Ladies Flyfishing Association, which held a training day for novice women anglers at Bleach Lough in Limerick.
According to a recent survey by Ipsos MRBI, over 327,000 adults in Ireland consider themselves an angler. Now, more than ever, people are discovering the positive effects angling has on mental health and wellbeing, the state agency has said.
In another survey, undertaken in 2021 by Amárach Research, some 18% of adults that had never been fishing before said that they are “likely” to try angling in the future.
Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Sponsorship Programme received proposals from community groups, clubs, associations. Making the announcement this week, Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “More than 320,000 adults in Ireland already enjoy angling and 18% of those who haven’t tried it before are likely to try it in the future. This demonstrates that there’s significant potential for sustainable angling, which could bring many health and economic benefits to the people of Limerick.”
She added: “Through Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Sponsorship Programme, we want to encourage people to try angling sustainably and we also want to encourage more beginners, especially girls and women into the sport.
“The projects that are being supported this year showcase a wide appeal for angling events, coaching and competitions. These projects and initiatives will create a greater awareness of Ireland’s inland fisheries and sea angling resources and the importance of conserving and protecting these precious resources.”
The full list of events and initiatives receiving support under the 2021 Sponsorship Programme can be seen at www.fisheriesireland.ie