18th December

New study reveals pike native to Ireland

A collaborative study between UCD and Inland Fisheries Ireland using computer modelling of genetic data has indicated that pike probably colonised Ireland in two waves: roughly 8,000 years ago close to the end of the Ice Age and again about 1,000 years ago, with the Normans.

This is the first time there is evidence for natural colonisation of a freswater fish to the island of Ireland. Pike (Esox lucius) was though to have been introduced by man in the last few hundred years. Results from this research show that the colonisation history is more complex and indicates they may have colonised naturally some thousands of years ago. 

Dr Joe Caffrey, Inland Fisheries Ireland

Dr Joe Caffrey, Inland Fisheries Ireland

"We should always question long-held assumptions, and examine the best available evidence. At this point it would be irresponsible to ignore tehse strong patterns of pike divesity, but we are also keen to investigage this further and provide a more exhaustive picture," remarked Prof Stefano Mariani, University of Salford, who supervised the study. 

Pike is one of Ireland's key angling species in an industry worth €750m annually to the Irish economy.

The study was conducted in partnership of the School of Biology & Environmental Science, UCD with support from the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Club and the University of Salford.

http://www.fisheriesireland.ie/Research/recent-publications.html 

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