Here is an article penned by IFI CEO that was published in the Sunday business post yesterday. Albeit somewhat two years too late, FISSTA welcome this awakening as it in reaction to the findings of their Socio economic study announced in July 2013 that found our angling asset contributes €750m to the economy.
Ciaran Byrne stated at the time that they would be acting immediately on the findings but nothing has been done as yet to obtain increased funding not are we advised if their budget submission to the line minister has been made after two years of FISSTA campaigning to halt the decline in Angling habitat.
Fissta have finally convinced IFI and all state bodies that Angling can deliver increased economic benefits to rural Ireland. But sadly, more research studies with Queens University Belfast and the ESRI lasting into 2018 are now conducted which will delay the hard decisions being made now.
Why put angling developmental hold to await academia report back to Ifi on such Topics for research in 2015 that they say may include:
An analysis of a lifetime of angling activity;
Permit allocation methods;
The economic benefits of a fishery in a rural location;
National participation rates in recreational angling;
Angling preferences and experiences among non-Irish nationals;
An analysis of recreational angling demand in Ireland;
Preferences of international tourist anglers
In March the public Consultation for the NADP or National Angling Development Plan was conducted with the report promised to be published in the summer of 2015 and to date nothing was announced although Autumn has arrived.
The frustrations of FISSTA can be understood when we learn from this article that yet another publication called the NSAD or National Strategy for Angling Development will be published soon – whether it is before or after the NADP is not certain.
Anglers need no expensive consultant studies to guide them as they are on their local waters and know what is required to enhance their valuable assets. In 2006 FISSTA advised IFI to ensure our Angling participation was not damaged by rumours of them doubling our rod license fee to €120 at a time when we hoped to promote the sport internationally. Our appeal went unheeded and over 50% of angling participants and visitors went elsewhere and we have never recovered from that body blow that IFI should never have introduced. FISSTA will continue to lobby for to improve the anglers lot to benefit the economy.