Evelyn Cahill (age 6) , and her brother Rory Cahill (age 4) from Dunboyne, Co Meath looking at a replica Mesolithic Era fish trap with Minister Sean Canney TD
The fisheries resource will come to life at the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History this summer as a free event called Fishy Fun will bring a range of interactive activities suitable for all the family.
Inland Fisheries Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History are partnering on a one day event (Saturday, July 20) as part of International Year of the Salmon(IYS) which aims to engage the public around the challenges facing salmon today.
Sean Canney TD, Minister with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, launched the initiative which is one of a number of activities taking place throughout the summer to promote salmon conservation and the fisheries resource.
Visitors to the museum will learn more about the fantastic collection of fish on display and how Ireland’s most iconic fish species, salmon, is facing its biggest challenge yet.
Fisheries staff will be on hand to help young fisheries enthusiasts examine the creepy crawlies which live in Ireland’s rivers and lakes via microscopes while novice anglers can try their hand at fishing through a virtual fishing simulator!
In addition to the collection within the museum, aquariums will also showcase some of the freshwater fish which live in waters across Ireland.
The event is just one of a number of initiatives (outlined below) taking place across the country as part of International Year of the Salmon which is a world-wide initiative of the North Atlantic Salmon Organisation (NASCO) and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC).
It is hoped that IYS will create a framework for international outreach and research while also raising awareness of what humans can do to ensure salmon and their habitats are conserved and restored against a backdrop of several environmental factors.
Minister Canney said: “Salmon are an iconic species in Ireland, and indeed in many other countries along the north-west coast of Europe. International Year of the Salmon offers an opportunity to start an important conversation about salmon and how we can kick start efforts to restore salmon habitats. This event, alongside the many other initiatives, will allow the public to discover more about the fisheries resource and the challenges facing salmon today.
“This is a fun day out aimed especially at families and I would encourage parents and carers in particular to give children the opportunity to learn about our native fish and see how they can contribute to protecting them into the future”, he added.
Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “We are looking forward to introducing the public to the mystical aquatic world at this family focused event. Novice anglers, future fisheries biologists or scientists or anyone who has an interest in the natural world will enjoy learning more about the fish and creatures which live in our waters and what we can do to ensure their ongoing conservation for future generations.”
The Director of the National Museum of Ireland, Lynn Scarff said: “National Museum of Ireland is delighted to work in partnership with Inland Fisheries Ireland on this exciting event which will allow visitors of all ages to engage with Ireland’s natural history and in particular discover more about the fascinating and symbolic Irish salmon, it’s habitat and other creatures that live alongside it.”
The Fishy Fun event is free and will take place from 10am-4pm on Saturday, 20th of July in the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History, Merrion Street, Dublin 2. As part of the event, children and schools are also invited to enter a national colouring competition The Salmon of Colour which will be available in the museum and online in the summer months with more information coming soon.
To find out more about International Year of the Salmon or to register an event, visit www.yearofthesalmon.org. To learn more about what is happening in Ireland and how you can get involved, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie/iys .