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Two Men Convicted of Illegal Salmon Netting on River Fergus in Ennis

27th December 2023
Three dead Atlantic salmon illegally caught from the River Fergus in Ennis, Co Clare on the night of 9 June 2023
Three dead Atlantic salmon illegally caught from the River Fergus in Ennis, Co Clare on the night of 9 June 2023 Credit: IFI

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured convictions against two men for an illegal netting incident in which three Atlantic salmon died.

The case was heard at Ennis District Court on Friday 27 October.

Tom Corry and Flan Considine, both from Clarecastle in Co Clare, were observed by IFI fisheries officers setting four illegal salmon nets across the River Fergus in Ennis on the night of 9 June this year.

IFI officers managed to release three salmon alive to the water, but three salmon were dead.

The court heard how, when apprehended, Corry and Considine were in possession of an illegally caught salmon. When IFI officers subsequently retrieved the nets that were set in the river, another five salmon were caught there.

Corry was fined €200 and Considine was fined €100. Both were ordered to pay costs of €615 each in relation to the offence.

During the investigation, IFI officers also seized a boat which was forfeited as a result of the conviction.

Commenting after the court verdict, David McInerney, Shannon River Basin District director at IFI said: “The River Fergus is closed to salmon fishing. Numbers in the river are significantly below levels required to sustain a healthy natural population.

“Illegal fishing is a serious environmental crime which has the capacity to threaten vulnerable salmon stocks.

“Any illegal fishing puts further pressure on a very important and iconic wild Irish fish. In 1971, a total of 1.2 million wild salmon returned to Ireland. Last year, that number was just 171,697 — representing a fall of 86 per cent.”

IFI encourages the public to report illegal fishing or angling incidents or those relating to water pollution, habitat destruction or fish kills to its 24/7 confidential phone number at 0818 34 74 24.

Published in Angling Team

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