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New Policy Roadmap Launched for Inland Fisheries

Eamon Ryan TD, Minister with responsibility for the Inland Fisheries sector has launched Towards a Policy Framework for Inland Fisheries in Ireland - A Roadmap.

This roadmap represents the first step in developing a policy framework for inland fisheries in Ireland which will be focused on conservation and sustainable management and on reimagining our relationship with this precious national resource. The policy framework will put conservation and sustainability first but will also show how this shift in emphasis can allow the true economic potential of the sector to be realised at the same time.

The roadmap is broadly intended for those who have an interest in angling, fisheries, rural development, biodiversity, natural habitats, water quality, climate action and wider sustainability. Stakeholders could represent a wide range of interests, including, for example, those who participate in angling and inland commercial fishing (individuals and organisations / associations / clubs), rural and coastal communities, environmental NGOs, local authorities, the hospitality sector, and other regulatory bodies.

Minister Ryan encouraged all interested parties to get involved early on in the process of developing the new policy framework: “People have the opportunity to be involved in developing this framework. You may have information and ideas that can help shape the future of the sector in Ireland. By taking part in this process you can influence the decisions being made about the future of Ireland’s Inland Fisheries”. 

Notes to the Editor

The Roadmap is available on and anybody who wants to become involved in the policy-making  process may make contact us in writing:

by email at

or by post to:

Inland Fisheries Division,

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications,

Elm House,

Earlsvale Road,

Cavan Town, H12 A8H7,

Please indicate whether you wish to be added to the Department’s email list to ensure you receive regular updates and notifications around, for example, upcoming consultation processes or relevant publications.

Ireland’s inland fisheries are a precious natural resource that forms part of our cultural, environmental and economic identity. We have over 77,000 kilometres of freshwater rivers and streams and a quarter of a million hectares of lakes, as well as sea-angling resources within the national 12 nautical mile limit. These waters support a wide-range of species including salmonids, pike, coarse and other fish, and sea fish and represent a significant part of Ireland’s overall rich biodiversity.

In terms of angling alone, the inland fisheries sector supports over 11,000 jobs – mainly in rural areas – and is estimated to be worth well in excess of half a billion euro annually to the economy. As a recreational activity, angling is enjoyed by individuals, clubs, and communities across Ireland and attracts visitors from around the world.

However, an imbalance exists currently in terms of the economic, social and environmental considerations around inland fisheries. Ireland has seen a decline in stocks of a number of species on which commercial fishing activities are based. Unabated, this decline could lead to irretrievable losses in the resource. Not only would this lead to fundamental biodiversity and cultural loss, it would also critically undermine the existing and potential societal and economic contribution of the inland fisheries sector.