Bluefin tuna survey requests are now open to charter skippers

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Chartered skippers can now apply for the 2022 Bluefin Tuna Scientific Survey Program as scientists confirm that more than 1,100 of the world’s largest tuna have been successfully tagged and released under the program over the past three last years.

A maximum of 25 authorizations can be granted to qualified skippers around the Irish coast and the fishery will open on July 1 and close on November 12.

The program is a collaborative initiative between Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and the Department for the Environment, Climate and Communications.

Between 2019 and 2021, some 1,136 bluefin tuna were caught, tagged, measured and released, with the largest measuring 2.75m and weighing around 372kg. All were carefully managed alongside the ship, placed under strict guidelines and released alive.

The data collected to date is now complete and ready for submission to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.

The central aspect of the Tuna Chart program is the welfare and successful release of bluefin tuna. Skippers are required to have high specification rods, reels and line before the open season.

Anglers have the opportunity to participate in this important study by fishing only from licensed vessels. Unauthorized vessels are not permitted to target or catch bluefin tuna and any unauthorized person targeted is subject to prosecution.

Charter skippers are invited to apply to join the 2022 program between February 14 and 28, by completing an online application form at fishingireland.ie/redfin.

Paul Cardy with the second salmon of 2022 in Ireland, caught on the River Drowes

Salmon on the Drowes

Since last Thursday, four salmon have been caught on the Drowes River. The first fish of 2022 was caught in mid-January by Garrett Byrne, weighing 12 pounds; the second, weighing 7 pounds, fell on Paul Cardy on a banana fly on the upper basin of the mill. Michael Adamson of Dublin landed an 8lb fish also from the factory’s upper basin on a Blair spoon; and last Sunday Ballyshannon’s Michael Patton caught a six-pound shrimp.

Killarney Symposium

The European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission and Department for Environment, Climate and Communications Symposium 2022 will be held at the Randles Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry on 20-21 June.

Four themes have been identified for the symposium relating to the assessment of fish stocks in inland waters; developments in freshwater fish monitoring technologies; assess the impacts of climate change on freshwater fish and their habitats; and the role of citizen science. The fifth theme will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of traditional systems versus recirculating aquaculture systems.

Admission fees include early bird registration (before April 1 – €120); students €80. Subsequent payments will incur a surcharge of €20.

Key dates to note: February 18 – abstract submission closes; March 25 – notification of acceptance letters; March 28 – closing of registrations for presenting authors; April 1 – early bird registration closes; June 13 – closing of registrations and deadline for submission of manuscripts/presentations.

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