Thursday, 5th September 2019: Fisheries Officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland seized 29 bass from two boat anglers on the South East Coast last week. The seizure was secured following a surveillance operation as part of a fisheries protection programme which aims to safeguard Ireland’s valuable fisheries resource.
The protection programme comprises of planned overt and covert patrols at various times of day and night as well as intelligence led surveillance operations. An investigation is now underway into the incident on the south east coast and a file is being prepared with a view to prosecution.
Bass are protected by specific regulations which provide for catch and release fishing only for European bass from the 1st of January - 31st of March and from the 1st of November – 31st of December. Each angler may only retain one fish per day (a fish must be in excess of 42 cms to be retained from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail) in the period from the 1st of April to the 31st of October.
David McInerney, Director of the South Eastern River Basin District at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “This incident highlights the importance of ongoing protection efforts to protect bass and other species along our coastline. The vast array of river, lake and coastal based habitats mean that we need to utilise both traditional patrol methods and surveillance technologies to ensure that our wild fish populations are protected.”
Fisheries officers work across the entire resource which includes 74,000 kilometres of rivers and streams, 128,000 hectares of lakes and 5,500 kilometres of coastline in their attempts to apprehend those responsible for illegal fishing and environmental offences.
Members of the public are invited to report incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and illegal fishing by calling Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 24 Hour Confidential Hotline on 1890 34 74 24.