Lough Neagh fisherman given a conditional discharge for breaching Fisheries Act

Date published: 19 February 2021

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Today at Dungannon Magistrates Court, a Lough Neagh commercial fisherman was given a conditional discharge for one year after being detected with undersized fish and taking fish during the annual close season.

Joseph McElroy (33) of Killycanavan Road, Coagh, Cookstown, County Tyrone was given a conditional discharge for one year after he pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.

On 20 August 2019 Fisheries Protection Officers from DAERA Inland Fisheries were carrying out an Inspection of premises belonging to Edgewater Foods Ltd, Killycanavan Road, Coagh, Cookstown County Tyrone were Mr McElroy is named as a Director and Fish Processor.

They detected Mr McElroy processing his nets and after further inspection was found to be in possession of trout during the annual close season along with a number of trout and pollan that were under the minimum landing size.

The outcome in this case demonstrates the commitment of DAERA Inland Fisheries enforcement staff in pursuing those whose actions have a detrimental impact on fish stocks.

Notes to editors: 

1.  Joseph McElroy pleaded guilty on 19th February 2021 to three breaches of the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 and given a conditional discharge of one year.

2.  Annual close season for trout to be caught commercially on Lough Neagh is from the 20th August to the last day of February. (Inclusive)

3.  Minimum landing size for pollan caught commercially on Lough Neagh is 20.5 cm

4. Minimum landing size for trout caught commercially on Lough Neagh is 35.5 cm.

5. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook: https://twitter.com/daera_ni and www.facebook.com/daerani.gov.uk

6.  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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