100kg of illegally caught salmon and 250m of nets  seized

100kg of illegally caught salmon and 250m of nets  seized

Only salmon or sea trout that have been caught by licenced commercial salmon fishermen may be sold and must bear a colour-coded green or white gill tag, or for wild imported salmon, a yellow tail tag. Picture: PA Photo/Andrew Milligan

Inland Fisheries Ireland has seized nearly 100kg of salmon and more than 250m of illegal nets from a boat off the coast of Cork last week.

The agency  is reminding members of the public, as well as the catering and hospitality industries, that it is illegal to purchase or possess illegally caught salmon or sea trout.

The seizure — which involved the discovery and confiscation of 98kg of salmon and 256m of illegal nets — was carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland staff who are based in the Cork region of the South Western River Basin District.

Similar seizures have taken place in Donegal and Mayo in recent weeks.

Only salmon or sea trout that have been caught by licenced commercial salmon fishermen may be sold and must bear a colour-coded green or white gill tag, or for wild imported salmon, a yellow tail tag.

Greg Forde, deputy CEO and head of operations at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “We wish to highlight the importance of protecting migrating salmon and sea trout stocks against illegal fishing activity. The risk of targeted netting of salmon at sea remains the highest priority for our protection staff, who have seized 15 nets in the South Western River Basin region so far this season."

Mr Forde says that he believes the fish are being sold door to door in some instances, or at agreed meeting points.

“Nationally a total of 91 nets, measuring 5,300 metres have been seized to date since the beginning of the year. The value of prompt and accurate information from concerned members of the public who report instances of suspected illegal activity or pollution alerts cannot be overstated. Information may be passed directly to local Inland Fisheries Ireland staff or by phoning our confidential Hotline number on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24."

Last Wednesday, several IFI officers were allegedly assaulted and two were allegedly unlawfully detained as they dealt with a boat in Mayo.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that gardaí in Ballina, Mayo are investigating an alleged incident of false imprisonment which occurred on a boat at Belderrig Pier, Belderrig, Co Mayo, at approximately 11pm on Wednesday, July 15: "A boat has been seized by investigating Gardaí in relation to this matter. Investigations are ongoing and no further information is available at this time."

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