Pike con­demned to death

New Ir­ish law Four big fish per day An­glers start chal­lenge

Anglers Mail - - Front Page -

IR­ISH pike an­glers are up in arms about the ap­proval of a byelaw that will al­low up to four big pike a day to be re­moved from loughs.

A cam­paign has been launched by the Ir­ish Pike So­ci­ety and the All Ire­land An­gling Al­liance, who are look­ing to raise funds to mount a le­gal chal­lenge in the High Court.

IPS chair­man Ian Forde said: “We con­demn the en­act­ment of a law that now al­lows the killing of four spec­i­men pike per day, per an­gler, in our premier lime­stone loughs.

“This bill was signed into law on the Oc­to­ber 25 by Richard Bru­ton, the re­cently ap­pointed min­is­ter for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Cli­mate Ac­tion and En­vi­ron­ment.

“Recre­ational an­gling sup­ports over 11,000 jobs na­tion­ally, and con­trib­utes al­most €1 bil­lion to the Ir­ish econ­omy.

“The ac­tions of

Richard Bru­ton and oth­ers will re­sult in a loss of jobs and com­mu­nity ser­vices, due to the re­sult­ing neg­a­tive im­pacts on our econ­omy.

“Since 1996, the im­por­tance of spec­i­men pike has been recog­nised, and fur­ther still in 2006 with the in­tro­duc­tion of the cur­rent na­tional pike law that pro­tects pike of over 50 cm.

“How­ever, with one stroke of a pen, a Govern­ment min­is­ter has un­done decades of con­ser­va­tion ef­fort.

“Due to the spread of in­va­sive roach through­out our sys­tems, the ben­e­fi­cial role of pike has been re­vealed in the most re­cent sci­en­tific re­search, car­ried out by IFI in 2017-2018.

“Min­is­ter Bru­ton has signed this dis­grace­ful doc­u­ment, al­low­ing slaugh­ter to com­mence, while ig­nor­ing the lat­est sci­en­tific data. He’s not even con­sulted the statu­tory agency, IFI, charged with man­ag­ing our fish­eries.

“IFI’s lat­est cam­paign is CPR (catch, photo, release), but what a sick joke that looks now!

“We had made a de­ci­sion to self-fund up to this point, but

This preda­tor was killed and hung in a tree by an an­tipike an­gler. since early May we have had full-time so­lic­i­tors and bar­ris­ters work­ing on our be­half.

“Our cur­rent le­gal and ex­perts bill is in ex­cess of €15,000. It will cost an­other €10,000 to get to trial. If we are un­suc­cess­ful, and have costs awarded against us, we’re look­ing at per­haps an­other €50,000,” Ian con­cluded.

Top English piker

Neville Fick­ling, a reg­u­lar Ir­ish vis­i­tor, said: “This leg­is­la­tion is an act of sheer vin­dic­tive­ness by brown trout an­glers in­tent on de­stroy­ing the Ir­ish pike in a mis­guided be­lief that this will im­prove trout fish­ing.

“It gives them carte blanche to de­stroy as many pike as pos­si­ble. No doubt many de­stroy any pike they catch any­way, but now they could ac­tu­ally or­gan­ise a pike com­pe­ti­tion, killing all the pike that they catch.

“Like many bat­tles, this one is need­less. It wastes re­sources that would be bet­ter spent on im­prov­ing fish­ing all round, but it has to be fought and won if de­cent Ir­ish pike fish­ing is to be pre­served.

“I and other Bri­tish pike an­glers have al­ready do­nated £100 each to the cause, and I would urge oth­ers to fol­low suit,” added the au­thor and tackle dealer.

Read Neville Fick­ling's lat­est AM col­umn in p.32/33.

A new law al­lows the killing of four spec­i­men pike per day, per an­gler, in premier Ir­ish loughs.

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