Hydroelectric operator fined for fisheries related offences

Date published: 01 September 2023

A Co Antrim hydroelectric operator was found guilty of fisheries related offences and fined a total of £815 at Coleraine Magistrates Court sitting in Ballymena Magistrates Court today.

Eoin McCambridge of Cushendall Road, Ballycastle, was found guilty of two breaches of legislation as prescribed under the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966, as amended.

The breaches were: wilfully obstructs the passage of the fry of salmon, trout or eels; and impeding an authorised person while carrying out their duties.

On 11 August 2022, DAERA Fisheries Protection Officers were carrying out salmon habitat enhancement works on the Carey River. While these works were taking place a discoloration in the water course was observed.

An investigation of the potential pollution was conducted upstream by the Fisheries Protection Officers. On arrival at a hydroelectric site owned and operated by Mr McCambridge, an excavator was observed operating in the river.

The Fisheries Protection Officers instructed Mr McCambridge to cease all in river works immediately as there was no permit (Section 48 permit) in place to allow the works.

Following investigation, it was discovered that during interviews with Mr McCambridge, false information, including name and address, had been provided. 

The total fine of £815 included:

•           £400    Wilfully obstructs the passage of the fry of salmon, trout or eels

•           £400    Impeding an authorised person while carrying out their duties

•           £15      An offender levy of £15.

DAERA Inland Fisheries enforcement is committed to pursue those who fish illegally. If you are aware or suspect illegal fishing, you should contact DAERA Inland Fisheries on 0300 200 7860 or outside office hours contact 0800 807 060.

Notes to editors: 

  1. It is an offence to wilfully obstruct the passage of the fry of salmon, trout or eels.
  2. Obstruction or impeding a Fisheries Officer whilst doing anything authorised by the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 is an offence.
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  4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk or telephone: 028 9052 4619.
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours’ service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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