At a sitting of Ballina District Court on 14th June, Judge John Lindsay charged a Mayo man with possession of eight unlawfully caught salmon at Lacken Pier on 22nd July 2015. Stephen Rooney with an address at Castlelacken, Lacken, Ballina, Co. Mayo, pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined €160 and costs amounting to €250.
Judge Lindsay heard evidence that fishery officers had observed a car on Lacken Pier on the night of 21st July 2015. The officers noticed liquid oozing from the underside of the car, which they suspected to be blood and mucous from fish. The car was kept under observation overnight, and in the morning several attempts were made to contact Mr. Rooney, the owner of the car. The car was searched when he failed to respond, and eight fresh net-marked salmon and an undersized lobster were found in the boot.
Commenting on the case, Dr. Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “Netting of salmon in the open sea has been illegal since 2007 as it is indiscriminate and takes fish destined for different river systems, some of which have depleted salmon stocks and are under severe pressure.
“Salmon angling is extremely valuable to the tourism industry in North Mayo and provides revenue, employment to local communities, and recreation to thousands of anglers both local and visiting from abroad and other parts of Ireland. Inland Fisheries Ireland will continue to work to protect this resource for the good of the community.”
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents - 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. This phone line is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species.
For more information, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.