The establishment of IFI has facilitated more efficient and effective management of the inland fisheries resource along with an enhanced national perspective in the formulation of relevant policy which is more streamlined, coherent and integrated. Since its establishment IFI has developed innovative technologies and working methods to create cost efficiencies with no loss of operational efficiency in delivering its services. IFI’s broad range of functions and responsibilities are set out the section 7 of Inland Fisheries Act 2010. In summary these functions relate to the protection, conservation, management and promotion of Ireland’s inland fish resources and of sea angling. In accordance with Section 7 of the 2010 Act IFI has specific functions in relation to research and to environmental matters set out in EU and domestic legislation, particularly the Habitats Directive.
Section 7(2) (a) of the 2010 Act specifically charges IFI with advising the Minister on conservation, protection, management, marketing development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. In relation to salmon, IFI is supported by the independent Standing Scientific Committee, established in accordance with the 2010 Act, comprised of scientists from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Loughs Agency, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Marine Institute and other State Agencies. In its role as the Department’s statutory scientific advisors as regards the inland fisheries resource, all advice is supported by fact-based scientific and technical research conducted by the Agency.
Given the challenging work-load and circumstances following the establishment of IFI, the amalgamation of 17 bodies into a single national organisation and the continued delivery of excellent services country-wide from a new agency has been a great success. I have confidence in the work of the Board, management and staff of the agency in achieving that success and across the wide range of functions as ascribed to the Agency by section 7 of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010.