The Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) held its Specimen Fish Awards Day on 16 February, in Swords. Successful anglers from all over Ireland who caught specimen fish in lakes, rivers or in the sea in 2012 were congratulated by Fergus O’Dowd TD, Minister of State for Natural Resources, on their excellent achievements. 2012 was a record year with a total of 640 specimen fish being ratified.

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.

The quality of our angling resource is reflected in the annual report of the Irish Specimen Fish Committee. The Committee accepted over 640 claims in 2012 – a record. Irish anglers took over 90% of these fish with visitors from overseas taking the remainder.”

The Minister also emphasised the importance of the half century of information about large fish caught by anglers in Ireland, both freshwater and marine, which has been collected by the ISFC over the years. This information is not only an important historical and heritage record but also a vital guide for anglers when choosing the best angling venues, dates, times and method to catch large specimens of their favourite species.

The Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) 2013 report can be downloaded here : Specimen Fish