#Angling - A Mayo man was charged with possession of eight unlawfully caught salmon at Lacken Pier on 22 July 2015 at a sitting of Ballina District Court earlier this month.
Stephen Rooney of Ballina, Co Mayo pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined €160 with costs amounting to €250.
Judge John Lindsay heard evidence that fishery officers had observed a car on Lacken Pier on the night of 21st July 2015. The officers noticed liquid oozing from the underside of the car, which they suspected to be blood and mucous from fish.
The car was kept under observation overnight, and in the morning several attempts were made to contact Rooney, its owner. The car was searched when he failed to respond, and eight fresh net-marked salmon and an undersized lobster were found in the boot.
Commenting on the case, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “Netting of salmon in the open sea has been illegal since 2007 as it is indiscriminate and takes fish destined for different river systems, some of which have depleted salmon stocks and are under severe pressure.
“Salmon angling is extremely valuable to the tourism industry in North Mayo and provides revenue, employment to local communities, and recreation to thousands of anglers both local and visiting from abroad and other parts of Ireland. Inland Fisheries Ireland will continue to work to protect this resource for the good of the community.”
Elsewhere, at sitting of Galway District Court on 7 June, Judge John King convicted two Galway fishermen of the non-payment of fines issued by fishery officers, and ordered a third man to pay a donation on the same charge.
Leslie Sammon, with an address at Ballinasloe, Co Galway, was before the court over non-payment of a fixed penalty notice of €150 for failing to complete a logbook upon taking a salmon from the Clare River, Claregalway last July. He was ordered to pay €200 to the RNLI by Judge King, who agreed to a donation in lieu of a conviction.
Alekseys Minkevics, with an address at Knocknacarra, Co Galway, was also summonsed in connection with an incident on the Clare River on 30 September last.
Minkevics, who failed to appear in court, had been observed fishing with live perch, in breach of fisheries legislation, and failed to pay the fine within the required timeframe.
Judge King convicted Minkevics and ordered him to pay €300, as well as €600 in costs. His fishing equipment was also ordered to be forfeited.
Viktor Buss, with an address at Headford Road, Galway was charged with a breach of a coarse fish byelaw on 5 October when he was found in possession of 32 coarse fish, eight times the legal limit. He was issued with a fixed penalty notice of €150 which he failed to pay.
Judge King recorded a conviction against Buss, who did not appear in court, and issued a fine of €300 with costs amounting to €600. His fishing equipment was also forfeited.
IFI has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents - 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. This phone line is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species.