21 staff from the seven Regional Fisheries Boards attended a 5-day fish counter training course at Marine Institute, Newport from the 24th - 28th July. The course covered training in the use of both Vaki (infrared) and Logie (resistivity) counters and validation of data from both units.
The tutors were Andrew Long of River Monitoring Technologies and Dr Niall O Maoileidigh of the Marine Institute’s Aquaculture and Catchment Management team.
Over the past few months the Regional Fisheries Boards and the Marine Institute have agreed on a national fish counter programme transferring the the day to day management and validation of the fish counters from the Marine Institute to the Boards. Initially some 12 key counters will be transferred, followed by additional counters in future years.
The Marine Institute will continue to act as a central repository for data, available to both scientists and managers as required, and run a series of experimental programmes aimed at developing stock assessment techniques for large river systems.
The national fish counter implementation programme will be coordinated by a Standing Committee chaired by Vincent Roche, CEO of the North Western Regional Fisheries Board, which in addition to ensuring the running of the 15 prioritised counters in 2006, will address the upgrading of additional counters for inclusion in future years.