Countryside Alliance Ireland were in Portrush on 20 June to attend the launch of a new leaflet to raise awareness about the Common Skate and to remind recreational sea anglers that it is a protected species in Northern Ireland.
Part of the ongoing ‘Watch out for Wildlife Crime’ public awareness campaign by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime NI (PAW NI), the new guidance aims to better protect the Common Skate.
Common Skate is an endangered species and is protected in Northern Ireland out to six nautical miles.
While once abundant, it has become very rare in UK shallow seas and in European waters.
It is a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly take, injure or kill Common Skate and sea anglers must not deliberately target Common Skate.
The maximum penalty on summary conviction for such an offence is a fine of £5,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.
PAW NI is a group of statutory and non-government organisations who work together to combat wildlife crime.
Lyall Plant, chief executive of Countryside Alliance Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be involved with the launch of the Common Skate leaflet which we hope will increase awareness about this protected species.
“The work of PAW NI and the partner organisations is crucial in our attempt to reduce wildlife crime in Northern Ireland.
“We urge everyone to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious or unlawful activity.”
To report a wildlife crime for Common Skate please call DAERA on 028 9056 9262 or the PSNI on 101.
The Irish Game Fair at Shanes Castle – this weekend
Northern Ireland’s annual celebration of the countryside, the Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival will be held at Shanes Castle this weekend.
Fieldsports, foods and a festival atmosphere, combined with a passion for the past, will deliver more than 100 acres of spectacular entertainment and display in one of the country’s most stunningly beautiful locations.
As always, Countryside Alliance Ireland will be in attendance and we hope to see you there.