The Irish Fisherman's Organisation has slammed proposals for a ban on salmon drift-netting in an effort to reverse declining stocks in Irish rivers.
The move has been recommended by an independent group set up to examine ways to reverse the decline and is expected to be approved by the Government.
Drift-netting at sea has been blamed for the growing lack of salmon in Irish rivers, but Irish fishing groups have been lobbying strongly against a ban for some time.
IFO chairman Joe Maddock said today that such a move would be a retrograde step and a serious blow to fishermen on the south and west coasts in particular.
"Drift-net men only fish for less than two months every year," he said.
"The salmon have 10 months to go all around the coast and into every river and the politicians should look to see what's wrong the rivers if there's not salmon in them."