Today, Monday the 25th March 2013, I received a mail from the proprietor of an Irish tourist business who specialises in sea angling. A booking from a UK based party, accounting for 21 bed nights, had just been cancelled due to a member of the group having read my recently published article/critique analysing the real and perceived quality of Ireland’s sea angling product and how it is presently marketed, “Reading Between the Lines”.
Needless to say the proprietor was not well pleased, ironically however, based on their long experience promoting Irish sea angling the proprietor agreed with the overall thrust of the piece, especially when it came to the marketing analysis, they just wished that I would have considered who was going to read it and how it would be interpreted before it was published.
Passionate about Irish sea angling and its promotion, that being the raison d’etre behind establishing the website www.anirishanglersworld.com, I was equally upset at the person’s loss and offered not only to remove the article immediately, but also to contact the potential customer in person, actions which the business owner said were unnecessary.
On reflection I decided that a wider explanation on the background to “Reading Between the Lines” was in order, so here goes:
I too am a tourist sea angler within my own country and am appalled at how my chosen pastime has been frittered away by gross mismanagement of Ireland’s marine resource over my lifetime, I’m 52.
Equally, having been interested in how Ireland’s sea angling product is marketed and promoted since my teens it amazes me how even as our inshore fish stocks have diminished the sea angling message put forward by the state agencies responsible has hardly changed one iota, in terms of content and approach, from the formula devised in the sixties by the late Des Brennan. An outsider looking in could easily perceive that everything is rosy in the garden.
If Ashley Hayden is the little boy who states that “the King really isn’t wearing any clothes” then so be it, the truth has to get out at some stage. Ireland has a diminished sea angling product period. The sad part is, those that could improve it, ie, the state agencies and legislators with responsibility for the marine continually do nothing due it would appear to an inordinate leaning towards the commercial fishing sector to the detriment of all other interested parties.
Shoot the messenger for that’s a normal response, but remember those who have or are about to read the piece, the information presented is a critique of how Ireland’s diminished sea angling resource is currently marketed. The article quite clearly states that there are still international standard sea angling experiences available from both boat and shore around Ireland’s coastline, however it is seasonal and found only in pockets, where as once upon a time in the not too recent past quality sea angling could be found everywhere.
There are many posts within www.anirishanglersworld.com that highlight quality sea fishing experiences this writer has enjoyed from boat and shore in and around Ireland over the past three years, please check out the archive diary posts and the media section. By quality I mean sea fishing on a par with that I experienced back in the 1970′s. The significant difference being that today I have to travel round trips of 400 miles within Ireland to find it. If that disappears, which on present form unless radical changes in the CFP occur appears likely, what do we do then.
In principal that is why I wrote the article and make no apology for it. Sea angling can make a positive contribution to Ireland’s economy if the product in all its facets is taken seriously, unfortunately at present there is no coherent strategic business plan, to include recreational sea angling, on the table at Government level.
To the guest house owner (I personally have availed of both their service and wonderful local sea angling product, and will do so again), as discussed we are both singing off the same hymn sheet, I will be more careful as to how I direct my commentary in future. To those who cancelled their trip, if you have read this post think again and give me a call as there still is quality sea fishing in Ireland, you just need to know when and where it occurs (the booking you inadvertantly cancelled being one such place).
To those with responsibility for both the resource and the marketing budget, start to fix the former and reappraise how you organise and spend the latter, a 60% fall in UK tourist numbers over the last five years testament to that……..
Further reading: “Reading Between the Lines”.