Fish Identification Requirements

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 with, close up photographs or the actual body as actual proof of identification before it will consider claims. To find out more information about Indentification Requirements, Irish Record Weight and Specimen weight for Freshwater and Marine Speices, click on the links below

Indentification Requriements Overview
Indentification Requriements for Record Fish
Identification Requirements using Genetic Fingerprinting – Shad and Smooth-Hound
Freshwater Species, Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and the Identification Requirements
Marine Species, Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and the Identification Requirements

 

Indentification Requriements Overview

Identification requirements differ from species to species, with some species requiring the actual body for identificiation whereas other species, fish scales are sufficient. It is important that anglers provide the ISFC with the correct supporting documentation to ensure claims are ratified. The table below outlines different identification requirement (fish scales, actual body, photographs) for the the different species along with a description of Indentification features to be documented. To find out more information about a specific specimen and their identification requirements, please go to Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and Identification Requirements

Identification Requirement
Description of Identification features to be documented

Fish Scales

Fish Scales must be submitted in respect of claims for the following species

SALMON, SEA TROUT, BROWN TROUT (including SLOB TROUT) RUDD, ROACH, and their hybrids, DACE and SHAD.

Any brown trout taken in tidal waters, i.e., in the sea or in an estuary below the freshwater boundary as defined for that river will be regarded for claim purposes as a slob trout. About 10 scales gently removed from one shoulder of the fish should be sent with each salmonid claim, whereas 3 scales are required from each cyprinid.

The Actual Body

The Actual Body must be forwarded for identification in the case of the following species

ANGLER FISH, BRILL, DAB, GARFISH (head and gills only), LESSER SPOTTED DOGFISH, FLOUNDER, GREY & RED GURNARDS, HERRING, MEGRIM, MACKEREL, GREY MULLET, GOLDEN GREY MULLET and RED MULLET, RAYS BREAM, THREE BEARDED ROCKLING, SCAD, TORSK, CUCKOO WRASSE and BLACK BREAM.

NB – Claims may be ratified where a photograph is of sufficient quality to provide conclusive evidence (i.e. key identification features clearly visible) to identify a fish, to the satisfaction of the Committee.

Photographs

CLEAR, SHARP, CLOSE-UP PHOTOGRAPHS, should support each claim. The entire fish on its side with the dorsal and anal fins fully splayed, and close up photographs of the head (side on) are requried for each fish claimed. Features should be easily seen, and not fore-shortened or obscured by shadows or bystanders. Photographs must be provided in the case of the following

ALL CYPRINIDS, TOPE, SHARKS, SMOOTH-HOUND, SKATE, RAYS, BLUEMOUTH, MONKFISH, POLLACK, BALLAN WRASSE, TRIGGERFISH, COALFISH, ALBACORE, TUB GURNARD (pectoral fins of gurnard must be fully expanded), GILTHEAD BREAM (whole body and head shot showing mouth and eyes) and BLACKMOUTHED DOGFISH.

Features to photograph differ for each fish species. To find out more information about features to photograph for a specific species, please go to Photographing Fish

SPECIAL NOTE – Stakes and Rays: In the case of skates and rays, photographs of both back and belly surfaces should be provided and particulars of the coloration given (with particular reference to the presence of dark or grey spots, or streaks or patches on the belly side).
SPECIAL NOTE – Mako Sharks: Detailed photographs of the teeth should be furnished in the case of Mako Sharks. In addition, there should be a clearclose-up photograph showing the jaws and teeth exposed.

Identification Requirements for Record Fish

If you want to make a Record Fish Claim, the ISFC states that the claim must be supported by

  • A series of clear photographs showing relevant features for positive identification and;
  • A clear indication of fish length (perferably a ruler/fish measurement mat). Records will be weight based only.

Identification Requirements using Genetic Fingerprinting – Shad and Smooth-Hound

The success of ongoing collaborations between the ISFC, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the School of Biology and Environmental Science at University College Dublin on shad (Alosa spp.) and smooth-hound (Mustelas spp.) meant these species can now be identified by genetic fingerprinting. This eliminates the requirement for a body to be presented for both groups of fish. An extensive study of smooth-hound carried out by Dr. Edward Farrell, formerly UCD, found no evidence of M. mustelas (Common smooth-hound) in Irish waters despite extensive sampling. Therefore ISFC no longer require a tissue sample for genetic analysis to support a claim for a smooth-hound.
Scale storage and photographic requirements are described below. As genetic analysis of scales requires considerable time to process samples anglers are requested to submit scale samples as soon as is feasible and before 15th October.

SpeciesSample requiredStorageAdditional information
Roach, Rudd and their hybrids3 scalesIn an envelope with fish details and dateGood quality photographs required
Shad species3 scalesIn an envelope with fish details and dateEnsure fish is retained in water as much as is feasible
Notes: As all fish can be returned alive please handle carefully. Allow envelope to dry out to preserve the sample. Do not store scales or tissue in plastic as sample will degrade

Irish Record Weight, Specimen Weight and Identification Requirements

Below is a list of Specimen fish, Indentification Requirements, Irish Record Weight and Specimen weight for both Freshwater and Marine Speices (last revised 2013). Please note that where species indentification states a body is requried, high quality photographs may suffice (see Indentification Requirements Overview)

Freshwater Species, Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and the Identification Requirements

SpeciesIrish Record WeightSpecimen WeightSpecies Identification Requirements
kglbs
Bream (Abramis brama)6.07 kg3.4027.5-
Carp (Cyprinus carpio)29 lbs13 ozs5.44312-
Dace (Leuciscus leucisus)1 lb2 ozs0.30.66Scales* & photos*
Eel (Anguilla anguilla)6 lbs15 ozssuspended from listings
Perch (Perca fluviatilis)5 lbs8 ozs1.22.646-
Pike (Esox lucius) (Lake)42 lbs12 ozs13.60830-
Pike (Esox lucius) (River)42 lbs9.07220-
Roach (Rutilus rutilus)1.425 kg0.9072Scales* & photos*
Roach/Bream Hybrid7 lbs1.63.528Scales* & photos*
Roach/Rudd Hybrid2.1 kg0.91.98Scales* & photos*
Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)--0.91.98Scales* & photos*
Rudd/Bream Hybrid7 lbs10 ozs1.22.64Scales* & photos*
Tench (Tinca tinca)8.15 lbs2.7226-
Salmon (Salmo salar)57 lbs9.07220Scales
Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) (Lake)26 lbs2 ozs4.53610Scales
Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) (River)20 lbs2.2685Scales
Sea Trout (Salmo trutta)16 lbs6 ozs2.7226Scales
Slob Trout (Salmo trutta)--4.53610Scales
* for genetic fingerprinting

Marine Species, Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and the Identification Requirements

SpeciesIrish Record WeightSpecimen WeightSpecies Identification Requirements
kglbs
Angler Fish (Lophius piscatorius)42.985 kg12.026.43Body
Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)17 lbs13 ozs4.53610-
Black Sole (Solea solea)6.32 lbs0.81.76-
Black Bream (Spondyliosoma cantharus)--1.02.205Body
Bluemouth (Helicolenus dactylopterus)1.32 kg0.91.9845Photo
Brill (Scophthalmus rhombus)9 lbs8 ozs2.04.4Body
Coalfish (Pollachius virens)15.1 kg6.80415Photo
Cod (Gadus morhua)42 lbs9.07220-
Conger Eel (Conger conger)72 lbs18.14440-
Dab (Limanda limanda)2 lbs5.5 ozs0.61.32Body
Dogfish - Blackmouthed (Galeus melastomus)1.33 kg1.02.205Photo
Dogfish - Lesser Spotted (Scyliorhinus caniculus)4 lbs4 ozs1.4743.25Body
Dogfish - Greater Spotted (Scyliorhinus stellaris)23 lbs13 ozs7.25716-
Dogfish - Spur (Squalus acanthias)10.6 kg5.44312-
Flounder (Platichthys flesus)4.91 lbs1.12.4255Body
Garfish (Belone belone)1.729 lbs1.02.205Head and gills
Garfish (Belone svetovidovi)1.11 lbs0.3550.875Head and gills
Gilthead Bream (Sparus aurata)3.24 kg1.43.08Photo (whole body, head shot
showing mouth and eyes)
Gurnard - Gray (Eutrigla gurnardus)3 lbs1 ozs0.681.5Body
Gurnard - Red (Aspitrigla cuculus)3 lbs9.5 ozs0.9072Body
Gurnard - Tub (Trigla lucerna)12 lbs3.5 ozs2.2685Photo (pectoral fins must
be fully expanded
Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglifinus)5.39 kg3.1757.0-
Hake (Merluccius merluccius)25 lbs5.5 ozs3.57.72-
Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)156 lbs1533.08-
Herring (Clupea harengus)0.48 kg0.340.75Body
John Dory (Zeus faber)7 lbs8 ozs1.8144-
Ling (Molva molva)55 lbs11.3425-
Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)4 lbs2 ozs1.02.5Body
Megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis)1.85 kg0.7941.75Body
Monkfish (Squatina squatina)73 lbssuspended from listings
Mullet - Gray, thick lipped (Chelon labrosus)9.1 lbs2.2685Body
Mullet - Golden Gray (Liza aurata)1.191 kg0.681.5Body
Mullet - Thin Lipped (Liza ramada) 2.83 kg1.53.31Body
Mullet - Red (Mullus surmuletus)0.82 kg0.4541.0Body
Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa)8.23 lbs1.53.31-
Pollack (Pollachius pollachius)19 lbs3 ozs5.44312Photo
Pouting (Trisopterus luscus)4 lbs13.5 ozs1.3613-
Ray - Blonde (Raja brachyura)37 lbs11.3425Photo
Ray - Cuckoo (Raja naevus)5 lbs11 ozs1.84.0Photo
Ray - Electric (Torpedo nobiliana)40 kg9.07220Photo
Ray - Homelyn (Raja montagui)8.28 lbs2.2685Photo
Ray - Painted (Raja microocellata)17.21 lbs4.53610Photo
Ray - Sting (Dasyatis pastinaca)33.2 kg13.60830Photo
Ray - Thornback (Raja clavata)37 lbs8.017.64Photo
Ray - Undulate (Raja undulata)18 lbssuspended from listings
Ray's Bream (Brama brama)6 lbs4.25 ozs2.04.41Body
Red Sea Bream (Pagellus bogaraveo)9 lbs6 ozs1.84.0-
Rockling, Three Bearded (Gaidropsarus vulgaris)3 lbs1 oz0.7941.75Body
Scad (Trachurus trachurus)1.97 lbs0.6801.5Body
Shad – Allis (Alosa alosa)- -1.8144Scales
Shad - Twaite (Alosa fallax)1.54 kg1.22.4255Scales
Shark - Blue (Prionace glauca)206 lbs45.359100Photo
Shark - Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)- - 90.718200Photo
Shark - Porbeagle (Lamna nasus)365 lbssuspended from listings
Shark - Six-Gilled (Hexanchus griseus)480 kg45.359100Photo
Shark – Thresher (Alopias vulpinus)- -54.431120Photo
Skate - Common (Raja batis)221 lbssuspended from listings
Skate – Long Nosed (Raja oxyrinchus)--36.28780Photo
Skate - White (Raja alba)165 lbs54.431120Photo
Smooth-Hound (Mustelas asterias)16.56 lbs3.06.62Photo
Stone Basse (Polyprion americanus)11.72 lbs3.6288-
Tope (Galeorhinus galeus)66 lbs8 ozs18.14440Photo
Torsk (Brosme brosme)4.858 kg2.7216Body
Trigger Fish (Balistes carolinensis)2.54 kg1.4743.25Photo
Tuna - Albacore (Thunnus alalunga)29.96 kg1226.46Photo
Tuna - Bluefin (Thunnus thynnus)440 kgsuspended from listings-
Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)34 lbs715.44-
Whiting (Merlangius merlangus)4 lbs14.5 ozs1.3613-
Wrasse Ballan (Labrus bergylta)4.3 kg2.1544.75Photo
Wrasse Cuckoo (Labrus mixtus)2 lbs7 ozs0.5671.25Body
N.B. Where species identification states body required, high quality photographs (see Rule 4) may suffice.