Press Release

Inland Fisheries Ireland welcomes Donegal Circuit Court ruling over illegal salmon fishing

Reminder issued on the importance of draft net fishing quotas

A former salmon draft net licence holder has been found guilty of two breaches of fisheries legislation when he was found to be in possession of 13 untagged salmon in the boot of his vehicle.

Liam Whyte of Ardara, Co Donegal was convicted in relation to an illegal fishing incident which occurred on the 10th July 2017.

The case was first heard in Glenties District Court on the 27th February 2019 where Mr Whyte was convicted and fined €1,300 for possession of the salmon, and fined costs of €750.

In light of previous convictions the court imposed a sentence of three months imprisonment which was suspended for two years, on condition that there be no further convictions under the Fisheries Acts during that time.

Mr Whyte appealed the ruling to Donegal Circuit Court and the case was heard on the 14th March 2023.

As Mr Whyte had not come to the attention of the courts in the intervening period the court waived the three months suspended sentence and instead convicted Mr Whyte on two counts of breaches in fisheries legislation with fines amounting to €2,800, and costs of €979.63.

Commenting on the outcome of the case Dr Milton Matthews, Director of the North Western River Basin District Inland Fisheries Ireland said: "I commend the ongoing vigilance of our fisheries protection officers who conduct extensive surveillance operations throughout the year to ensure that licenced salmon draft net holders comply fully with the strict tagging and quota regulations.

“Any salmon killed in excess of the quota identified for any particular salmon fishery directly impacts on the long-term sustainability of that salmon fishery.

“It is critical for all stakeholders to strictly abide by tagging and quota regulations to safeguard the future of these valuable fisheries. Members of the public can report incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and fish kills, to Inland Fisheries Ireland's 24-hour confidential hotline number on 0818 34 74 24."


For media queries contact: Sadhbh O'Neill, Communications Assistant Inland Fisheries Ireland/ / 087 101 9998

Notes to Editors

About Inland Fisheries Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is the State's environmental agency responsible for protecting, managing and conserving Ireland's inland fisheries and sea angling resources. IFI operates under the aegis of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, and was established under Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. It advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling.