Britain's leading predator angling club has added its voice to the groundswell of protest against proposals to raise the legal size limit of pike which may be killed for the table in Ireland.
The Central Fisheries Board is considering asking Irish fishery authorities to increase the size of pike which may be killed from 50 to 75cm.
It claims it is under pressure to do so, after complaints from visiting European anglers. But pike anglers using freedom of information laws have found just two Swiss anglers and seven visiting Germans have complained, along with two individual guides, who say their customers want to be allowed to kill larger fish.
Tim Kelly, president of the Pike Anglers Club, said: "As the representative body for the UK's pike anglers, we are voicing our objection to any move to raise the size limit for pike from 50cm to 75cm.
"We are fundamentally opposed to the promotion of taking pike for food as we believe that the pike is a sport fish to be enjoyed by many as opposed to being consumed by the few.
"UK pike anglers make up the majority of the pike fishing tourists travelling to Eire every year and the lost income from increasingly pike unfriendly policies will surely have a far greater impact than allowing a few anglers from the wider continent to kill larger fish."
Landmark conservation bylaws to protect Ireland's pike were agreed in 2006, after a long battle by anglers on both sides of the irish Sea.
To add your voice and oppose any move to see the size limits increase, e-mail the Central Fisheries Board's director of marketing David Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org .