Fisheries Protection

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is responsible for ensuring the protection and conservation of Ireland’s fisheries resource, the fish and their habitats in both inland waterways and out to a twelve mile limit off the coast from baselines.

The species protected comprise all freshwater fish species including migratory species such as salmon, sea trout, eel as well as lamprey.

IFI is also responsible for protecting certain molluscs including oysters and through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency enforces bass fisheries legislation.

In addition to enforcing the provisions of the Fisheries Acts 1959 to 2010, IFI is empowered to enforce the Water Pollution Acts 1977 & 1990 when discharges to fisheries sensitive locations impacts on water leading to deterioration in water quality and on occasion fish kills.

Fisheries Protection statistics

  • How can I recognise Inland Fisheries Ireland staff? +

    Checking a salmon licence

    Inland Fisheries Ireland officers are involved in a range of activities including high profile inspections, surveillance and intelligence operations, education and advocacy programs, fisheries development, research and prosecutions. On the river or lough bank however their main responsibility will be to ensure compliance with the varying fisheries regulations and laws.

    Many fisheries are signposted to advise on permit requirements and regulations
    Many fisheries are signposted to advise on permit requirements and regulations

    When fishing you may at times be approached by an Inland Fisheries Ireland officer. If fishing for salmon or sea trout they will request to see your licence as well as tackle. If angling for other species they will check your compliance with the various fishing regulations and laws.

    Bike patrol

    If you are approached by an IFI working fishery officer they will be wearing official logoed work wear which may consist of a green coat and or bomber jacket, light green shirt, brown trousers and boots and possibly a green baseball type cap. All of these have identifying Inland Fisheries Ireland logos on the cap, shirt or jacket.

    Fisheries Officer afloat

    If requested to identify themselves they will be able to produce their warrants. These consist of a leather wallet; upon opening it there is an IFI badge and a photograph of the officer plus a number of warrants which allows the officer to perform his/her duties.

    Hauling in an illegal net

    There will also be logos on their vehicles (cars, vans, jeeps, quad bikes, bikes) or vessels (rigid inflatable boats (RIBS), boats, jetskis or kayaks).

    Fisheries protection staff patrol by a variety of means including Personal Water Craft
    Fisheries protection staff patrol by a variety of means including Personal Water Craft

    Officers do at times work in civilian clothing when they need to be incognito, or in drysuits or floatation suits while working in rivers or at sea. They should however still be carrying their warrants.

    Kayak patrol

    N.B. It must be noted that in some areas there are Water keepers and on the coast sea fisheries officers. These are not IFI employees and as such do not have the same work wear but carry appropriate warrants.

    Buggy patrol

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