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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019

Covert surveillance sees fish enforcers crack down on illegal salmon netting in Donegal

Inland Fisheries Ireland has seized 1,100 yards of illegal salmon drift nets off Inishbeg Island.

2 Donegal fisheries officers following the seizure of 1,100 yards of illegal salmon drift nets Source: IFI

FISHERIES OFFICIALS BASED in Co Donegal have put a dent in the local illegal salmon farming industry with the seizure of a large quantity of illigit drift fishing nets.

Two separate operations were carried out last week by Donegal enforcement officials of Inland Fisheries Ireland, targeting the illegal snaring of salmon in the county.

The first saw 26 untagged salmon identified and seized following covert surveillance by officials in the Glenties area of the county.

In the second instance, later the same day, fisheries officers on patrol off the Donegal coast seized two drift nets, measuring 500 and 600 yards respectively, together with two salmon which were caught in the nets in the waters off Inishbeg Island.

“Both incidents highlight the importance of ongoing… offshore and coastal patrols to protect migrating salmon and sea trout stocks against illegal fishing activity at a time when salmon stocks are under severe pressure from high temperatures, very low water levels and a long term decline in survival rates at sea,” said Milton Matthews, director of IFI’s north west river basin.

The seizures saw the officers concerned utilising their newest equipment in the battle against illegal fishing – a fleet of 7.8 Delta RIB (Rigid Hulled Inflatable) boats commissioned last month.

Matthews stressed that the seizures exemplify the “value of prompt and accurate information from concerned members of the public”.

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