Work to combat IUU fishing applauded
Carál Ní Chuilín
Northern Ireland’s Minister of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), Carál Ní Chuilín, has praised those involved in the ongoing efforts to combat illegal fishing activities across the north.
The Minister spoke of a recent incident where a large amount of equipment was seized, disrupting what was a significant illegal fishing operation on Lough Neagh.
“Efforts such as this are part of the ongoing work from DCAL to clamp down on illegal fishing across the north. 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.
“DCAL, in conjunction with other agencies and law enforcement bodies, is increasing its efforts to target large-scale illegal operations which are using increasingly sophisticated and organised methods to take fish.”
She said that officers have the power to seize any equipment used to fish illegally, which includes everything from fishing rods and nets, through to vehicles which take and transport fish.
She stressed that these efforts are vital to preserving valuable natural resources.
“Illegal fishing not only impacts upon legitimate fishermen and anglers; it does untold damage to underwater ecosystems. At a time when we are looking to defend our fishing stocks, those who fish unlawfully are destroying lifecycles and disrupting breeding patterns,” the Minister said.
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