Pike Anglers Club officials met organisers of the Fermanagh-based Erne International Pike Fishing Classic back in April, calling for them to abandon the use of barrels to retain fish.
The PAC said it had serious welfare concerns both over the use of the barrels and the lack of stewarding at the event, meaning pike would be retained for long periods or transported some distance to be weighed.
The club fears fish will be deprived of oxygen and pike stocks already under pressure could be further depleted.
PAC secretary Mark Barrett said: “We met with Richard Turner, Keith Collen and Mark Lichtenburg, the main organisers for the match.
“Many aspects of the match were spoken about during this meeting, the central issues being the retention of Pike in barrels and the poor stewarding in the boat section of the match.”
But talks broke down with the organisers refusing to budge over the way this year’s event will be run.
“To say the organisers were unresponsive would not be far off the mark,” said Mark Barrett.
“Mark Lichtenburg walked out of the meeting claiming he could spare a few minutes, despite knowing for several weeks that the meeting was going to take place, with Gordon Nesbitt travelling from Londonderry and myself flying over from
Gordon informed organisers that the PAC’s
Since that point further negotiations have been briefly carried out, after organisers called the PAC offering to look again at the issue of barrels and stewarding.
But again no real concessions were on the table and Richard Turner, who had recently joined the PAC, was expelled from the club for refusing to modify his stance over the issue of fish being retained in barrels.
The Erne International Pike Fishing Classic is being backed by a group of organisations dedicated to promoting tourism in
Hundreds of anglers from across
“It’s unfortunate that an event designed to promote