Angling research aims to boost economy

Anglers contribute €800 million every year

Recreational angling is a vital economic activity in Ireland, supporting 11,000 jobs and bringing €800 million to the economy every year. To grow the industry and remain competitive relative to other popular angling destinations, it is critical to provide the type of fishing experience valued by anglers. New ESRI research aims to address an existing knowledge gap by providing fisheries management with data on how anglers assess the appeal of a fishery.

Improving resources to attract anglers

Although over 400,000 individuals, including over 110,000 overseas visitors, participate in recreational angling in Ireland every year, very little information exists on what motivates them to choose one fishery over another. The ESRI initiative is bridging the knowledge gap by measuring the value placed by anglers on a range of factors including water quality, catch-and-release policies, catch sizes, bag limits and pollution control.

ESRI researcher John Curtis, who is leading the project, said “More substantial research is required to develop fisheries in a way that promotes increased participation in angling. The research findings will inform decision-making by Inland Fisheries Ireland that improves the sport for anglers but ultimately sustains a vital economic activity and maximises the productivity of under-utilised natural resources.”

Anglers wanted

Capturing the views of as many anglers as possible is essential to the success of the study. The ESRI invites anyone who goes fishing in Ireland whether only occasionally or on a regular basis, whether to the lake, river or sea shore, to join a panel of anglers who would like to share their views in occasional surveys. Visit www.esri.ie/angling to join the panel.

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