An important function of the ISFC is to act as a focal point for data collection on the occurrence of notable, rare or unusual species taken on rod and line in Irish waters. In some instances this has led to species previously regarded as “unusual” being added to the list of eligible species. Examples from recent years include Smooth-Hound (Mustelas asterias) and Three Bearded Rockling (Gaidropsarus vulgaris) from 1983, Garfish (Belone svetovidovi) from 1986, Torsk (Brosme brosme) from 1988, Trigger Fish (Balistes carolinensis) from 1992, Bluemouth (Helicolenus dactylopterus) (from 2002), Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga) from 2002, Golden Grey Mullet (Liza aurata (Risso)) from 2005, Gilthead Bream (Sparus aurata L.) from 2007, Blackmouthed Dogfish (Galeus melastomus) from 2008, Black Bream (Spondyliosoma cantharus) from 2009 and Thin Lipped Mullet (Liza ramada) from 2011.
To begin the process of attempting to establish a new specimen fish category, anglers are requested to submit a completed claim form for each fish captured. This is particularly important as it will establish a database for the species and enable further investigation and comparison of future claims. Claims for 10 fish of that species must be submitted for it to be considered for possible inclusion on the listings. The specimen weight will be set from this dataset and other relevant data. The record fish will be ratified after 5 fish exceeding specimen weight are ratified.
With most species the body will have to be forwarded for positive identification. Other arrangements would apply for large fish. The availability of the body is essential to allow the Committee to verify positive identification of the species. The claim form will allow monitoring of numbers and weights of the species. This facilitates assessment of the likelihood of capture, the likely specimen weight and the availability and seasonality of the species. It is difficult to legislate for every situation that may arise but the final decision will rest with the Committee and will be based on a balanced review of the information available. While this process is progressing some details of interesting fish captured will be reported in the Irish Specimen Fish Committee Annual Report.
The Irish Specimen Fish Committee recognised eligable species are divided into two different categories, Freshwater Species and Marine Species. To view The Irish Specimen Fish Committee up-to-date list (last revised 04/2013) of eligable Freshwater and/or Marine Species, specimen weight for that species, and Irish Record Weight of that species, click on the links below