A new tool makes it possible to follow the evolution of marine fish stocks
An important new tool, which captures the knowledge and practical experience of fishermen to help monitor changes in marine fish stocks, has been developed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). Entitled ‘Fleksi’, the new practice taps into the ecological knowledge of Irish sea fishermen as a means of supplementing scientific knowledge.
More than 650 recreational fishermen have contributed to the development, which was highlighted in the Journal of Marine Science of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) earlier this month.
Fleksi can follow the development of fisheries over time and could have a much wider application to conserve or manage fisheries internationally, as EU member states are forced to develop data collection programs to marine recreational fishing.
Among the fishermen who participated (some with over 40 years of experience), each was asked how sea fishing is doing “today” compared to when they started.
Based on their thoughts and awareness, the results suggest that stocks of cod, whiting and sea bass have declined over the past four decades. It is important to note that this perception corresponds to the stock assessments of ICES, the organization responsible for determining the stock status of all species of marine fish in European waters.
The article on the Fleksi tool is available on the ICES Journal of Marine Science website
IFI Senior Research Director Dr William Roche explained: “Ireland is known the world over for its iconic sea fishing resources, attracting up to 185,000 fishermen each year. We wanted to create a framework that could capture the observations of these fishermen, help us better understand long-term changes in recreational fishing, and act as an early warning signal for long-term changes.
IFI Senior Research Officer Dr Samuel Shephard added: “Fishermen have a key role to play in conservation. They spend many hours outdoors observing nature and the fish they catch. During a career as an angler, this experience can become a unique insight into the state of our fisheries.
The article on the Fleksi tool is available on the ICES Journal of Marine Science website. The report is written by Dr Samuel Shephard (lead author), Diarmuid Ryan, Paul O’Reilly and Dr Willie Roche.
The bidding process for state fisheries for 2022 is now open. To view the list of available fisheries as well as the year-end report and additional documentation required, contact Paul O’Reilly at the email address below.
To bid for one or more fisheries, download the “Bidding Conditions Questionnaire and return it to the address provided.”
Offers will be accepted until December 17, 2021; proof of postage by this date will be accepted. Mark the RFQ envelope and send it to Paul O’Reilly, Business Development, Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest, Dublin 24.
If your club is interested in a longer term license, complete the appropriate section and the IFI will contact you. However, please pay the license fee “per year”.
Clubs that held a state fishing license during the 2021 season must complete an “Year End Report” form and return it to the above address by December 17, 2021. You can also complete the form here. Contact [email protected] for more information.
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