PRESS RELEASE FROM THE PIKE ANGLERS CLUB

 

 

Campaign groups have won another hard-fought victory in the battle to protect Ireland‘s pike stocks from indiscriminate killing.

 

But there are fears the small print of bye law changes agreed by the country’s biggest fisheries board could cramp the syle of bait anglers, by limiting the amount of deadbaits they are allowed to carry.

The Shannon Regional Fisheries Board, which controls 7,000 square miles of lake and 7,000 miles of river in the west and centre of the country, has banned the killing any pike over 50cm in length.

Its new pike protection bye laws also make it an offence to be in possession of any pike over 50cm in length, or more than 1.5kg of pike flesh.

The changes come after decades of campaigning by pike groups on both sides of the Irish Sea. Pike have not only had the attentions of some locals and continental anglers, who kill all they catch.
Pike in the West of Ireland have not only had the attentions of some locals and continental anglers, who kill all they catch.

Extensive gill netting programmes have also all but wiped out internationally-important pike fisheries and caused a steep drop in the number of anglers visiting Ireland to fish them.

PAC president Phil Wakeford was among the pro-pike lobby which made submission at a review meeting, which made recommendations to Irish fisheries ministers.

“This has come out of the review meeting David Overy, Matt Hayes and I attended in Ireland, in June 2003,” Phil said.

“We are heartened that at long last the fisheries boards in Ireland and starting to recognise the importance of pike and are taking steps to preserve them.

“There are more positives than negatives to this but we want to know more about the bait limit.”

Phil added the most important change was to alter the maximum size of pike which could be taken to 50cms, replacing previous maximum weight bye laws.

“We pushed for this change and we’re glad it’s been made,” he went on. “There was a loophole in the law before because scales could not be certified.

“Everyone can have a metal rule and know whether or not they’re breaking the law, which makes it far easier to enforce.”

Any angler in posesssion of more than four roach or other coarse fish must be able to produce a receipt to show they come from a licensed bait dealer.

This takes certification of bait a step further than the PAC’s recently launched kitemark scheme, which allows bait dealers to assure customers that their baits come from legal and sustainable sources.

But there are also concerns over an added clause in the bye laws which limits the amount of baits an angler can carry with them to 12.

Irish pike groups are seeking clarification whether this applies only to coarse fish, meaning more sea baits could be carried, or whether it is indeed the total number of baits an angler can carry.

The Shannon Fisheries Board’s catchment area stretches from Lough Allen in the North to below Listowel in the South, and from Loop Head in the West to Lough Sheelin in the East.

Within this area there are over 7,000 square miles of lake, 7,000 miles of river and some 220 miles of coastline.
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NOTES FOR GUIDANCE:

For further comment contact PAC president Phil Wakeford on 07747 642257

The full text of the bye law reads as below:

DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS, MARINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

FISHERIES ACTS 1959 TO 2006

CONSERVATION OF PIKE BYE-LAW NO. 805, 2006


I, John Browne, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 9 (as amended by section 3 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1962 (No. 31 of 1962)) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 (No. 14 of 1959), section 33 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1962, the Fisheries (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1977 (S.I. No. 30 of 1977) (as adapted by the Marine and Natural Resources (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2002 (S.I. No. 307 of 2002)) and the Marine (Delegation of Ministerial Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 82 of 2006), hereby make the following Bye-law:


1. This Bye-law may be cited as the Conservation of Pike Bye-law No. 805, 2006.
!ne
2. This Bye-law comes into operation on the day of its making.


3. Subject to Article 4, it is prohibited for any person to take or kill more than one pike on any one day.


4. It is prohibited for a person to take or kill any pike greater than 50 cm in length measured in a straight line from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail.


5. It is prohibited for a person, other than in the circumstances referred to in Article 7, to have in his or her possession or control –

(a) more than one whole pike greater than 50 cm in length measured in a straight line from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail, or

(b) more than 1.5 kgs of pike flesh or parts whether as fillets, steaks, cutlets, sides or in any other form whatsoever.


6. Any pike taken inadvertently in contravention of this Bye-law must be handled carefully and returned without avoidable injury to the waters from which they have bee!n taken.

7. Article 5 does not apply to a person storing pike or pike parts for another in excess of that permitted under that Article in a premises or vehicle, where –

(a) the premises or vehicle is registered with the regional board for the fisheries region in which it is situated,

(b) the premises or vehicle is owned or leased by the person, and

(c) any whole pike or pike part so stored are separated and labelled as to clearly identify the fish or fish parts belonging to the person for whom they are being stored.


8. (1) It is prohibited for a person to have in his or her possession more than 12 fish for use as bait in fishing for pike.

(2) Where a person has more than 4 coarse fish in his or her possession for use as bait in fishing for pike, the person, in respect of fish in excess of that number and subject to paragraph (1), must have –

(a) obtained the fish from a fish tackle dealer or fish bait s!upplier registered with the regional board in whose fisheries region the dealer or supplier carries on business, and

(b) obtained and retained a receipt of their purchase.

(3) In this Article “coarse fish” means any fresh water fish other than pike, salmon, trout, eels or minnow.


9. The Conservation of Pike Bye-law No. 667 of 1990 is revoked.




GIVEN under my hand,
20 July 2006.



John Browne _____________________________
John Browne
Minister of State at the Department of Communications,
Marine and Natural Resources.



EXPLANATORY NOTE


(This note is not part of the Bye-law and does not purport to be a legal interpretation).

This Bye-law provides for the following conservation measures:

· a bag limit of 1 Pike in any one day,
· prohibits the killing of any pike greater than 50 cm in length,
· !prohibits the possession by any person of more than 1 whole pike greater than 50 cm or more than 1.5 kgs of pike flesh, this provision does not apply to a person storing pike or pike parts subject to conditions,
· prohibits the possession by any person of more than 12 fish for use as bait subject to conditions.
FOOTNOTE

Section 11 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act, 1959 as amended by Section 27 (b) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1999 provides that any person aggrieved by this Bye-law may within 28 days after its publication in the Iris Oifigiuil, appeal against same to the High Court.

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