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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C

Shots fired as patrol officers discover illegal salmon fishing on River Suir

Gardaí said they are investigating the incident.

SHOTS WERE FIRED and a boat was seized during an incident in which patrol officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland confronted suspected offenders illegally catching salmon on the River Suir last month. 

It occurred overnight on Tuesday 28 July during a routine patrol and an investigation is now underway by gardaí. No one was injured during the incident. 

A net was used to trap nine wild salmon on the river. Salmon fishing is prohibited without a valid commercial salmon fishing licence to protect stock levels. 

“Fisheries Protection officers seized a boat, net and nine wild salmon on the upper tidal river Suir during the night on Tuesday, 28 July, near Carrick-on-Suir, encountered during a routine fisheries patrol,” a spokesperson said.

“A firearm was discharged by the alleged offenders while IFI Officers were responding to this illegal and highly damaging environmental crime. Nobody was injured during the incident. Members of An Garda Síochána attended the scene and the incident is being investigated.”

A garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí attended an incident which occurred in Carrick On Suir, Co Tipperary on the 28 July 2020 at approximately 10pm. Investigations are ongoing.”

Director of Inland Fisheries Ireland, David McInerney said the fish were “cruelly killed” and urged consumers to be aware of salmon origins when purchasing the fish.

“The salmon caught by this illegal net were on the final leg of an arduous journey to reach their native spawning rivers,” he said. “The fish were fresh in from the sea, having survived a journey from either the coastal waters off west Greenland or the Faroe Island, before being cruelly killed by an illegal net, a few miles from their final destination.

“It cannot be stressed enough that nobody should purchase wild salmon that does not carry either a green or white gill tag through the mouth and gill clearly displaying the name Inland Fisheries Ireland.”

He added: “I would like to highlight the dedication and courage demonstrated by the officers in tackling illegal fishing in the face of significant personal danger.”

Anyone with information can contact local Inland Fisheries Ireland staff directly or by phoning IFI’s confidential hotline number to report incidents of water pollution, illegal fishing and fish kills on 1890 34 74 24.

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