Slowly but surely
Yesterday at Midleton District Court 2 fishermen were found guilty of using nets to catch Bass. IFI Fisheries Officers observed the nets on the evening of 11 July 2011 and in the early hours of the next day apprehended the two men.
In evidence the Fisheries Officers stated that following a report they observed a net fixed out just off the shore at Aghada Power Station which was subsequently hauled into an unlighted punt used by the two fishermen in conjunction with a sea fishing boat which was also unlit. The officers quietly approached the punt in a protection boat and using a powerful hand-held spot light suddenly confronted the fishermen. The pair reacted by heaving a fish box containing approximately 20 Bass over the side of the punt into the water.
The fishermen, who retained a Solicitor to fully contest the offences on their behalf, stated that they were fishing for mullet and had taken the Bass as a by-catch but had not had the opportunity to discard the Bass, which were in the fish box, before the Fishery Officers appeared on the scene.
Judge Olann Kelleher said he was satisfied that both men were guilty. For using a net to catch Bass he fined each man €600 and ordered each man to pay €300 costs. He also made an Order for the Forfeiture of the nets.