Two men have recently appeared in court on charges relating to illegal net fishing at Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide, Co. Dublin. On Tuesday, 28th July, 2020 Mr Maxim Loan and Mr Gheorgie Pingica appeared before Judge Bernadette Owens at Swords District Court in respect of breaches of fisheries legislation at Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide, Co. Dublin, which occurred on the 5th of August, 2019.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) Officers from the Dublin District outlined the facts of the case to the court and how on the night in question surveillance was carried out on a net that had been staked in the estuary. Later that night IFI Officers observed two individuals retrieving and servicing a net and placing it in a vehicle. Officers carried out a search and seized a net 68 meters long which contained mullet and flounder and the men were apprehended. Judge Bernadette Owens convicted Mr Maxim Loan and Mr Gheorgia Pingica under Section 102 of Fisheries Amendment Act and imposed fines totaling €1000 and awarded costs to Inland Fisheries Ireland of €1814.

Brian Beckett, Director of the Eastern River Basin District at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Our Officers enforce fisheries laws in both covert and non-covert operations dedicating significant surveillance man-hours in the protection of our valuable fish populations. Illegal nets are very damaging to vulnerable estuary fish stocks including salmon, seatrout, bass and mullet along the East coast. This conviction highlights the persistent issue of illegal net fishing which is a serious environmental crime and will not be tolerated”.

Members of the public can report instances of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species by calling Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential hotline number on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.

For more information on Inland Fisheries Ireland, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.