One fisherman lands 1200kgs of pike in a week: Councillor
Concern has been expressed about the number of pike being netted out of Lough Erne and its possible impact on tourist angling.
Brian McCaffrey, a Sinn Fein member of Fermanagh District Council, said he had been contacted by a member of the public alarmed that 1,200 kilos of pike had reportedly been landed by one commercial fisherman in a week.
"If they can pull that out in one week there's not a lot left for the tourist," complained Mr. McCaffrey.
Pike are the biggest predators in Lough Erne. They were once regarded as vermin by anglers, who complained that they ate too many trout. However, pike are now highly regarded as a sporting fish in their own right, attracting tourist anglers to the Erne, hoping to land a specimen weighing 15 kilos or more. Regulations have been introduced to protect these powerful fish. Anyone catching a pike weighing 4 kilos or more must return it alive and unharmed to the water. In addition an angler can only keep one pike under 4 kilos per day.
However, the regulations do not apply to the seven commercial fishermen who took out a licence to net pike on the Erne during the open season from December 1, 2012, to February 28, 2013. Most of them are following a family tradition and their numbers are in decline. Only five of the seven took out the necessary permit to actually go out and set nets on the Erne.
According to the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure there is no restriction on the number of licences it can issue.
"However, the actual number applied for has declined to the current level over a period of time," said a spokesman. "The Department would be able to restrict this number should it be necessary."
The nets men file annual catch returns with the Department.
"The total commercial pike catch on the Erne in the 2011 season was just over 3,500," the spokesman added.
The fish are exported to Europe where they are dished up on the dinner table and in restaurants.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 03 Jan 13
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jan 7, 13:50
DISGUSTING TO SAY THE LEAST, There is a commercial pike fishery on Lough Erne that can operate from the 1st of December – end of February the following year. Permits are issued by DCAL (as fishery owners)and there are restrictions in place on the size of vessels that can be used, areas where nets can be set etc. These fish are then sold for human consumption.
What about the paying rod anglers that buy licences every year to fish it do they not matter to DCAL?
What about the visiting anglers/angling events that bring millions to the area that help the shops/hotels/B&B,s/boat hire company's/angling shops and so on do they not matter?
The fishing on lough erne has been going down hill for a good few years now and it,s easy to see why when DCAL let a few nets men rip it apart with there nets and destroy for everyone else.
why don't DCAL help the nets men start new ventures on the lough as they know it better than anyone,with the huge amount of visiting anglers that come to lough erne the nets men could run pike guiding services or lough erne tours, then maybe we could save and promote the Lough as the best course fishing waters in the UK or even Europe.
sort it out DCAL.
FROM A VERY CONCERNED ANGLER AND VISITOR OF LOUGH ERNE
Recommend? Yes 17 No 1
Jan 7, 21:15
I agree with Full Soda. This is disgusting. I live in mainland UK but I have fished all over Ireland for many years in search of both pike and other species. However, due to the declining pike fishing on the Lough, i currently have no desirre to return to it. The fact that DCAL did not even fill it's allocation of netting licences is probably a reflection on the fact that, due to the netting, there are less and less pike in the Lough.
Not only do pike provide a wnderful sporting fish for people to enjoy and return alive, they also provide a source of tourist income. This will end if the fishing continues to decline.
Just as importantly, the pike, as the apex predator, plays an invaluable role in ensuring a healthy aquatic environment. by eating the sickly and weak fish the pike maintains the good health of all species and stops the spread of disease.
In order to preserve Lough Erne as a valuable lesuire resourse for future generations, DCAL has to end the netting on this, and other, loughs.
I sincerely hope that DCAL ends the netting of the lough before it is too late.
Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain.
Recommend? Yes 15 No 0
Jan 10, 08:28
what a mess, can govering bodies not see the financial impact on this to the local trade tourism and potential for future investment , no silver eels no brown eels and now no pike were do dcal draw the line with this. is there not plenty of fish in the sea or in commercial fishery to feed the nations with out destroying valuable natural resources and natural ecosystems that have taken possibly many 1000's of years to develop - man is his own worst enemy and greed will consume him over time
Recommend? Yes 6 No 0