Ireland shows the way in sea angling tourism

| February 19, 2013

At the recent awards dinner of the Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) successful anglers from all over Ireland were congratulated by Fergus O’Dowd TD, Minister of State for Natural Resources, on their excellent achievements.

In his speech the Minister said: “The Government recognises that angling is hugely important to the tourist industry and to the economy generally. Preliminary information from a survey commissioned by IFI estimates that angling tourism spend is €250m million per annum – approximately €150m of which is generated by domestic anglers. Angling opportunities in Ireland are among the best in the world and this is reflected in the demand for the product and the numbers engaged in it both at home and from abroad.

Scotland has the potential - some of the most varied fishing venues combined with a tremendous diversity of fish species once made Scotland the European sea angling destination of choice, however, the past two decades have seen the inshore stocks of many of these species become severely depleted and many stocks are now extremely scarce, or only exist in juvenile / refuge populations.

The Government’s own Economic Study into sea angling identified “ The future of sea angling is crucial dependency on wild fish stocks….” which would facilitate “ a significant growth potential for of sea angling and an enhanced contribution it could therefore make to income and employment across Scotland, particularly to economically fragile coastal communities. Indeed, the growth potential of sea angling probably exceeds that of many freshwater fisheries.”

Unfortunately politicians and tourism executives seem to have failed to grasp that simple message and not only is Scotland failing to promote sea angling but inshore grounds such as the Clyde continue to be relentlessly exploited.

Category: Government

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