Foreign nationals blamed for illegal fishing

Illegal fishing in our rivers and lakes is ‘a huge problem’ according to a spokesman for the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board. Martin McEnroe was responding to a Letter to the Editor  published on page fourteen of this week’s Roscommon People which alleges that illegal fishing amongst non-nationals in particular is widspread – and on the increase.   ‘There is do doubt that it’s a major problem’ said Martin McEnroe yesterday (Wednesday), ‘but it’s not confined to local rivers and lakes. It’s a national problem. It’s going on everywhere’.    The letter writer, Michael Flaherty says that some foreign nationals are ‘decimating’ the fishing locally by killing all that they catch. He adds that he has not seen a representative of the Shannon Fisheries Board in the area in the last twenty years (see letter on page 14).    Commenting on the situation, Mr. McEnroe said: ‘There are some amateurs involved who don’t understand the law but there are also huge numbers of professionals who are putting nets on our rivers and that is totally illegal.    ‘We have seized several nets in recent weeks and they are of the highest quality and some of them are not available to buy here in Ireland. It is true to say that the majority of these people are non-nationals