Following increased fisheries patrols over the May bank holiday weekend by Fisheries Officers of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board (ShRFB), visiting pike anglers were found fishing with live carp imported from France.

On the evening of Sunday the 4th May 2008, Officers from the Board uncovered a group of eight French anglers fishing for pike on Dromore Lake, situated near Ennis, Co. Clare.

The anglers were using live dace as a Pike bait. Dace are found in some Irish waters, but the movement of live fish between waters is restricted. More alarmingly, for the ShRFB, the anglers had live carp bait. A preliminary examination of the fish by staff found that there were three non-native carp species present, which are classified as alien species.

The introduction of non-native fish to our waters is of serious concern to the ShRFB which is working to conserve our native fish. Such introductions have serious knock on and long term effects on our lakes and their ecology.

The Board is working with other agencies to check on the disease status of the fish.

Mr Eamon Cusack, CEO of the ShRFB stated that this incident highlights the need for tighter controls on the points of entry to the country and called for clear legislation on the introductions and the movement of live fish to be incorporated to the Fisheries Acts. He further stated that the Board will be working with other agencies, including the Central Fisheries Board, Marine Institute, Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and National Parks and Wildlife Service to tighten the regulations and systems to prevent such occurrences.

The Board requests the public, particularly accommodation providers and anglers, who may become aware of such illegal activity to contact the Boards office at 061 300238.

If you require further information in relation to any aspect of this press release please contact
Lorraine O Donnell
Shannon Fisheries Board HQ 061 300 238