Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Question 308: To ask the Minister for Communications; Energy and Natural Resources if his attention has been drawn to the increasingly systematic poaching of fish from our rivers, canals and lakes, for illegal commercial sale, particularly in the Cavan/Monaghan area; and his plans to bring in additional measures to combat same. [17091/11]
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is charged with ensuring the protection and conservation of our inland fisheries resource and the observance of the Fisheries Acts, Bye-Laws and Orders. They have indicated an increase in illegal fishing activity nationwide in recent years.
Conservation and protection measures are constantly under review by IFI and my Department. In view of their staffing resource constraints, IFI are employing new technologies and utilising the public's cooperation through the new poaching hotline (1890 347424) to assist in the detection of illegal activities. This is complemented by ensuring the maximum visible presence in waters where the threat of illegal activity is greatest, timely prosecution of offenders and confiscation of illegal nets etc. There has been an increase of nearly 40% in the number of prosecutions initiated since 2007. I would encourage anyone with information on illegal fishing to report such activities or any other breaches to the provisions of the Inland Fisheries Acts to the hotline, the relevant IFI office or to An Garda Síochána.