Salmon poachers net hefty court fines and convictions

Limerick District Court

TWO Limerick men have been found guilty of being in breach of fisheries legislation for using a net to illegally capture salmon. They will have to pay fines amounting in one case to more €2,000. 

The pair were prosecuted for illegally salmon netting on the River Shannon at Monabraher, County Limerick, on June 26, 2021.

Both were convicted at Limerick District Court on April 27, 2023, and received fines of €400 and costs of €553 each.

Separately, one accused was also convicted of fishing in the tailrace of Ardnacrusha Generating Station on June 10, 2021, in contravention of the rules of the ESB Lower Shannon Salmon Angling Permit. He was fined €300 and ordered to pay costs of €958 for this offence.

In the past 13 months Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured four convictions for illegal fishing in the Mid West region – from April 2022 to May 2023. There were three convictions in 2022, and one in April 2023 

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The highest fine issued by the courts was €200, and the largest cost awarded by the courts was €916.

An Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) spokeswoman said that such prosecutions will continue against people found fishing illegally, particularly when that fishing involves a vulnerable species such as salmon. 

“Fishing with a net in this area is illegal, and it is also illegal to catch and keep salmon by any method on the River Shannon as salmon numbers are significantly below levels required to sustain a healthy natural population,” the spokeswoman said.  

She spokeswoman added that the IFI “reminds members of the public that Atlantic salmon populations are under significant pressure from a range of factors, and any illegal fishing puts further pressure on a very important and iconic wild fish.”

Anyone who suspects poaching is going on, or is concerned about pollution or fish kills, is asked to report the matters to IFI’s confidential number on 0818 34 74 24.