Belfast Telegraph

Police net 40-stone illegal fish haul

By Linda Stewart

Police have seized 40 stone of illegally caught fish, a van and an estimated six km of illegal fishing net from a Co Tyrone property.

Detectives investigating an assault on Lough Neagh in August uncovered illegal fishing activity. Working with DCAL Fishery Protection Officers, they searched a property at Back Lower Road, Brocagh, on Wednesday.

During the operation they seized two boxes of pollan containing approximately 660 fish, two boxes of perch with approximately 1,006 fish, 18 undersize and out of season brown trout, 54 undersize roach, nine correct-size roach, six bream and three eels.

They also seized 3,500 yards of new netting and 2,000 yards of used netting.

DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín praised those involved in the ongoing efforts to combat illegal fishing activities.

“Efforts such as this are part of the ongoing work from DCAL to clamp down on illegal fishing... Inland Fisheries officers do a difficult and at times dangerous job patrolling waterways around the clock to combat illegal fishing and protect fish stocks,” she said.

Jim Haughey, chairman of the Ulster Angling Federation, said that “modern poaching is essentially organised crime”, adding that with fish stocks being low at present for many reasons, they “cannot sustain this assault”.

“Our thanks go to those involved in what can be a frustrating and risky job,” he added.

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