Staff of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), with co-operation from the Gardai, were investigating illegal netting of fish near Saleens, Co. Waterford at approximately 5 am  on Sunday morning last when they came upon a situation whereby two individuals put themselves in extreme danger by going to sea in a tiny unseaworthy boat. The tiny craft was not capable of dealing with the sea conditions and only one of the people had a buoyancy aid or life jacket. Officers of IFI and the Gardai were left with no choice but to alert the RNLI and Coast Guard when what began as a fisheries investigation turned into a multi-agency marine search operation. When members of the RNLI rescue vessel discovered the tiny craft at sea without passengers the Coast Guard helicopter was deployed to search for what was thought to be a man over board situation. Thankfully the two people from the tiny craft were later found safely ashore.

IFI seized the small craft and a 120 meter drift net along with 9 dead Bass. Net fishing for Bass is illegal and such activity has the potential to do huge damage to stocks and IFI dedicate significant manpower and resources in trying to combat such activity. The sale of wild Irish Bass is also illegal and it is important the public do not support illegal fishing by buying these fish. A file is being prepared by IFI with a view to prosecuting the fisheries offence.

Mr. David Mc Inerney, Director with Inland Fisheries Ireland, commented that it is incredible the risks that are undertaken by people undertaking  water based activities. The area in question is famous for having great stocks of Bass and Sea Trout but sadly has been the location for a number of tragic drowning’s in recent years. He wished to thank the dedication of members of the RNLI, the Coast Guard, the Gardai and staff at IFI for undertaking what is difficult work in a challenging environment and how the various agency’s work co-operatively in protecting both the lives of people at sea and also our wonderful wild fishery.


Notes to editors

Media enquiries

Suzanne Campion,
Head of Business Development,
Inland Fisheries Ireland,
Anglesea Street, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

Tel: 052 6180055 Fax: 052 6123971
Email: [email protected] Website:

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. IFI promotes, supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on, the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. It also develops and advises the Minister on policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling.