Claim a Specimen

Claim a Specimen

Step 1:

Read the Rules for Specimen Fish Claimants

Before you make a claim, please read the Rules for Specimen Fish Claimants Rules for Specimen Fish Claimants

Step 2:

Read the ISFC List of Eligible Freshwater and Marine Species and Specimen Weight

To qualify for a claim, you must have caught a fish recognised by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee which is equal to or exceeds the Specimen weight for that species. The list of eligible species may be modified (see Eligible Species for process to do this). An important function of the ISFC is to act as a focal point for data collection on the occurrance of notable, rare or unusual species taken on rod and line in Irish waters. ISFC Eligible Species

Step 3:

Download the Irish Specimen Fish Committee Claim Form and complete ALL relevant sections.

As the form needs to be signed we can NOT accept applications online. Write in BLOCK CAPITALS throughout. Please write clearly in Section 2 your name, address (including country) and telephone number and collect required supporting documentation for your claim (e.g. Photographs, Fish Scales, Actual Body). Information about required supporting documentation is listed below in subsequent steps. Download Claim Form


Fish Identification Requirements

The identification of a fish must be fully documented where there is a possibility of its confusion with any other (and particularly larger) species. For this reason, the Committee in respect of some species insists on scales from the fish; close up photographs or the actual body as actual proof of identification before it will consider claims. To find out more information on ISFC species identification requirements, please click on the link below.Species Indentification Requirements

Step 5:

Weigh the fish

Fish must be weighed on land with a certified scales or alternatively on a shop scales. If in doubt use a shop scales. Fish must not be weighed on board a boat. Scales must be certified annually by a competent independant authority and the certificate of accuracy must be current at the time of weighing. The ISFC recommended calibration service is NSAI. This certificate must accompany each application.Weighing the Fish

Step 6:

Measure the Fish

Lengths (cm) should be recorded on ALL claims submitted. All fish must be placed on measuring device & measured from tip of nose to end of middle rays of tail fin (forklength) OR for marine species (except bass) to end of tail fin. Greatest girth – in front of dorsal fin. Wingspread (rays and skate) from wingtip to wingtip. Photos supporting length specificed should accompany claim, showing fish belly down ON measuring device showing actual fish length (cm) – tip of snout (placed against bar) to end of tail fin lobe. To find out more information about measurement requried for each species, please click on the link below.Measuring Fish Length

Step 7:

Photograph the Fish

Except in the few cases where a body or presentation of the fish is required for species identification, a series of clear photographs must accompany all record fish claims. The photograph(s) must show the full fish lying on a flat surface and include a measure of scale (measurement mat, ruler, mobile phone, etc.). Preferably it would be photographed on a measuring mat or similar. Supplementary photographs showing the fish being weighed and the recorded weight would assist in further substantiating the claim.
Photographing Fish

Step 8:

Return completed Claim form and supporting documentation to ISFC

Please fill out ALL relevant sections of the ISFC claim form, sign and date Section 6 of the Claim Form and ensure that Section 5, Witnesses to Weighing and Measuring is signed by the witness.

If you submitting a scale sample, ensure that they are placed in a dry envelope (NOT in a plastic bag or tin foil as this causes very rapid decomposition). Fish fish details and date should be written on the outside of the envelope.

If you sending a fish to the  ISFC please follow these steps to ensure that your claim is processed

  1. Notify the Committee when a fish is being sent in for identification. Make specific arrangements (by telephone) with the Committee if bringing live fish for identification.
    Telephone: +353 (0)1 8842600
    Fax: +353 (0)1 8360060
  2. Do not forward fish before Bank Holidays or weekends; (keep in a cold store if fish cannot be delivered quickly on or before Friday afternoon).
  3. Please attach a label to each fish forwarded for identification giving the captor’s name and address, date and place of capture and the weight of the fish.
  4. Fish should NOT be sent in polythene bags or wrapped in aluminium foil as this causes very rapid decomposition.They should be wrapped in greaseproof paper and then in newspaper and brown paper.

Contact Details for Freshwater and Marine fish taken in the Rep. of Ireland

Name:Irish Specimen Fish Committee
Address:c/o Inland Fisheries Ireland,
3044 Lake Drive,
Citywest Business Campus,
Dublin 24,
Tel:+353 (0)1 884 2600


Contact Details for marine fish taken in Northern Ireland

Name:Dr. Stephen Beggs
Address: AFBINI,
Newforge Lane,
Belfast BT9 5PX.
Tel:+44 (0) 28 90 9025 5503


Contact Details for freshwater fish taken in Northern Ireland:

Name:Dr. Robert Rosell
Newforge Lane,
Belfast BT9 5PX.
Tel:+44 (0) 28 9025 5236
Fax:+44 (0) 28 9025 5004