A West Cork fisherman has been found guilty of illegal salmon fishing activities and obstructing Inland Fisheries Ireland officers
A West Cork fisherman has been found guilty of illegal fishing activities and obstructing Inland Fisheries Ireland officers.
Mr Donal Healy with an address of Castletownbere, Co. Cork was fined €4,000 plus costs at Bantry District Court on Wednesday 28 October, 2020 after being found guilty on two counts of illegal fishing and the obstruction of Inland Fisheries Ireland Protection Officers. Evidence in relation to the offences was given before Judge James McNulty, sitting at Bantry District Court. The breaches of Fisheries Legislation occurred on 5 of July 2019 off Quarry Point, Co. Cork.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) Officers outlined the facts of the case to the court and how Mr Healy had been observed drift net fishing with a monofilament net off Quarry Point. He attempted to prevent Fisheries Officers from boarding his vessel on its return to Blackball Harbour by casting off and pulling away from the pier. IFI Officers managed to board the vessel at sea and seized the illegal 300 metre long salmon drift net. Judge McNulty imposed fines of €2,000 for illegal fishing, €2,000 for obstructing the Fisheries Officers and Mr Healy was ordered to pay a further €500 in costs to Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Sean Long, Director of the South Western River Basin District at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “I would like to commend the Fisheries Protection Officers vigilance, perseverance and continuous commitment to protecting migrating salmon on their journey back to their spawning grounds. Mr Healy’s selfish actions put into jeopardy the very survival of a protected species in Irish rivers. This conviction highlights the ongoing issue of illegal netting for salmon and our zero tolerance of this serious environmental crime.
I urge members of the public to continue to report instances of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species by calling Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential hotline number on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.”
For more information on Inland Fisheries Ireland, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.