Eel Fisherman, Seán Doherty of Cheekpoint, Co Waterford dumps thousands of Euro worth of fish in the Waterford Estuary as the state’s total ban on eel fishing continues.

The Irish government introduced a total ban on eel fishing in 2010 in an effort to allow the stocks to replenish. Local fishermen say that they are being ignored and that there are no independent surveys being conducted.

Meanwhile, other EU countries and Northern Ireland continue to fish for eel on an industrial scale. In this video, Seán Doherty, who has been fishing the Waterford Estuary since the age of 14, says he provides evidence that the stocks are plentiful and that it is time to allow some fishing to take place before a whole way of life is lost.

Seán had set four eel traps at the fishware near Cheekpoint. When the pots were retrieved after 12 hours, the four pots were full with eel.  The traps have small holes to let the smaller fish escape. The fishware in the video was built by Seán himself. This method of fishing has been used in this area for over one thousand years.

Seán says he is forced to dump his catch worth thousands of euro. He says the “very same fish may be caught elsewhere in Europe and sold back to the Irish market.”