I have contributed as an angler to data collection for the Irish Specimen Fish Committee since 2000. I have tagged sharks all around Ireland and collected DNA samples from Twaite shad to show that they hybridize with Allis shad. And since 2018, I have spent most of my free time on the water tagging skate, sharks and rays for Ulster Wildlife's Sea Deep project. Volunteering is now a way of life for me.
I don't really see it as volunteering my time but more as using my experience to help protect our fish stocks and encourage other anglers to come on board as volunteers. I've been advising the Sea Deep team (Heidi) on angling techniques and helping deliver tagging training sessions to anglers on best practice for hooking, landing and returning the fish to the water. I share my own experiences and knowledge and utilize my Sea Deep training to recognize signs of stress in fish. For example, sometimes you must unhook fish at the side of the boat without landing them.