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Illegal salmon fishing still an issue along the Kerry coast

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An example of an illegal fishing net, seized by Inland Fisheries Ireland at Inisdooey Island in Co Donegal in 2020.

An example of an illegal fishing net, seized by Inland Fisheries Ireland at Inisdooey Island in Co Donegal in 2020.

An example of an illegal fishing net, seized by Inland Fisheries Ireland at Inisdooey Island in Co Donegal in 2020.

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Fifteen years after drift-nets were outlawed, salmon are still being caught along the coast of West Kerry to supply a lucrative black market trade, according to fisheries officers who are putting ‘considerable resources’ into an annual cat-and-mouse game on the sea.

From the 1970s to the early years of this century salmon fishing was a vital part of the economy of rural West Kerry and many families and small communities were sustained by the sometimes huge earnings that could be made. The drift-net ban of 2007 ended all that, and in villages such as Baile na nGall the local fishing fleet was wiped out as a result.


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