MulkearLIFE was delighted to be afforded the opportunity to make a short presentation on the work of MulkearLIFE at the first ever IFI Staff Conference which took place on Friday last, 21st October 2011 in Athlone. The presentation, to well over three hundred IFI staff colleagues, focused on the work of MulkearLIFE over the past two years to restore the lower Shannon SAC for Sea Lamprey, Atlantic and European Otter.
Outlining the nature of MulkearLIFE’s work with invasives (Image: Matt Nolan)
The instream work of the project and its partners in Limerick County Council and the Office of Public Work on the Mulkear, Newport, Bilboa and Annagh rivers was highlighted. This work which has been planned under the guidance of Dr. Martin O’ Grady has been highly successful in 2011. The presentation included an overview of the nature of the problems being addressed in the Mulkear catchment, the instream works being installed and the benefits accruing from this work not just for salmonids but for other species and riparian biodiversity generally.
Outlining the nature of MulkearLIFE’s instream works (Image: Glen Wightman)
The short presentation also briefly outlined MulkearLIFE’s work to improve the upstream passage of sea lamprey. This focused on the project’s sea lamprey tagging and tracking in 2010 and 2011 and the installation of new sea lamprey fish passes on Annacotty and Ballyclogh weirs in 2011 which have been successful in greatly enhancing the upstream migration of sea lamprey.
Outlining the nature of MulkearLIFE’s work with Sea Lamprey (Image: Glen Wightman)
The conference also included interesting presentations on the Celtic Sea Trout Project (www.celticseatrout.com) and on the growing problem of invasives throughout Ireland’s waterways. This included an input on MulkearLIFE’s sister LIFE+ project CAISIE (www.caisie.ie).
This conference was the first time, since the establishment of Inalnd Fisheries Ireland on the 1st July 2010, that the entire staff had come together. It was therefore a great privilege for MulkearLIFE to be afforded an opportunity to share its work with the wider IFI family.
The conference was also addressed by Mr. Brendan O’Mahony, IFI Chairperson, who thanked all the staff of IFI for their considerable input into the IFI Corporate Plan and the many challenging targets set within the plan. Inland Fisheries Ireland, CEO, Dr. Ciaran Byrne, outlined the IFI Corporate Plan and noted that the principal function of IFI is the protection, management and conservation of the inland fisheries and sea angling resource. He noted that the Corporate Plan is an important milestone in the transition to the new management structure in inland fisheries.
MulkearLIFE would like to express its sincere appreciation to the organisers of the IFI Staff Conference for a great day and great opportunity for the project to share with others the important work taking place in the Mulkear catchment.