TWO men have been caught poaching bass off the Irish coast after a joint operation by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the Gardai.
The investigation revealed a tiny craft being deployed that was not capable of dealing with the sea conditions. Officers of IFI and the Gardai were left with no choice but to alert the RNLI and Coast Guard and members of the RNLI rescue vessel discovered the tiny craft at sea without passengers the Coast Guard helicopter was deployed to search for what was thought to be a man overboard situation. Thankfully the two people from the tiny craft were later found safely ashore.
IFI seized the small craft and a 120 metre drift net along with 9 dead bass. Net fishing for bass is illegal and such activity has the potential to do huge damage to stocks and IFI dedicate significant manpower and resources in trying to combat such activity. The sale of wild Irish bass is also illegal and it is important the public do not support illegal fishing by buying these fish. A file is being prepared by IFI with a view to prosecuting the fisheries offence.
David Mc Inerney, Director at IFI, commented that it is incredible the risks that are undertaken by people undertaking water-based activities. The area in question is famous for having great stocks of bass and sea trout but sadly has been the location for a number of tragic drowning's in recent years. He wished to thank the dedication of members of the RNLI, the Coast Guard, the Gardai and staff at IFI for undertaking what is difficult work in a challenging environment and how the various agency's work co-operatively in protecting both the lives of people at sea and also our wonderful wild fishery.