Gardaí and PSNI launch joint operation to tackle fish poaching

Gardaí and PSNI launch joint operation to tackle fish poaching
(Pictured from left) PSNI Insp. Marty Mullan, Lionel Knobbs (area fisheries inspector, Loughs Agency), PSNI Sgt. James McLaughlin, John McCartney (Director of Conservation and Protection, Loughs Agency) and An Garda Siochana Supt. Martin Walker.

Gardaí have teamed up with the PSNI in an operation aimed at tackling fish poaching in Strabane.

Operation Silver Fin has been launched in the Co. Tyrone town, after concerns were raised about wildlife crime in the area.

Locals are being asked to report suspected fish poaching, with the operation also focusing on the enforcement of fishing regulations.

Gardaí said the net is closing in on fish poachers, and they hope the operation will highlight the importance of protecting fish stocks.

Garda Superintendent Martin Walker said: "The development of cordial working relations and partnership is fundamental to the success of this and similar initiatives which we in An Garda Síochána have developed with other stakeholders e.g. Inland Fisheries Ireland ( Sea Trout & Salmon ), NPWS ( Illegal Catching of Cray Fish ) and focal coarse angling fishing clubs.

"Continued enforcement action is essential in addressing this major wildlife crime.’’

Sgt. James McLaughlin of the PSNI said: "Wildlife crime is taken extremely seriously by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The significance of this kind of crime cannot be overstated.

"At the most serious level, it can have a direct impact on the economic, environmental and cultural lives of communities and can also negatively affect the conservation status of some native species.

"Operation Silver Fin is a new initiative originally launched in Toome a few months ago and now it has been noted there are concerns in this area."


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