Bank holiday clampdown on illegal fishing

Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officers carried out operations to clamp down on illegal fishing.

This followed information received by anglers and the general public about illegal fishing taking place at a number of locations in the area. In total, 13 offences were detected and the offenders will be reported.

Illegal fishing can carry hefty penalties; fishing without a rod licence can lead to a court appearance and fine of up to £2,500 and contravening a local or national Byelaw can land offenders with a fine of up to £50,000. The vast majority of anglers fish legally and abide by the rules, which are designed to protect the environment as well as providing a sustainable and fair future of the sport.

Calum Underhill, Fisheries Enforcement Officer at the Environment Agency, said:

We’ve listened to reports from the angling community and other locals and would like to reassure them that this is the first of many operations we will be carrying out in the area. We are working with the police so it should be no surprise in the future to see us working together to check licences remove illegal nets and deal with the associated problems linked to illegal fishing.

We take illegal fishing and illegal fish movements very seriously. Anyone fishing illegally can expect to be prosecuted and face a substantial fine.

Many people enjoy angling and we would encourage anyone to give it a try, as there are many great places to fish in the local area.

Information on getting into angling is freely available on the internet and information about rod licences and byelaws can be found on the Environment Agency website. Anyone who witnesses or has information regarding illegal fishing is encouraged to report it through the Environment Agency’s Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Anyone fishing illegally can expect to be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £2,500 and up to £50,000 for byelaw offences. Last year, the Environment Agency checked over 62,000 rod licences and prosecuted more than 1,900 anglers for rod and line offences resulting in fines and costs in excess of £500,000.

Fishing is great value for money at just £27 for an annual licence, and concessions available. Buying a rod licence is quick and easy – you can buy them online at the Post Office, at your local Post Office branch or by phoning 0344 800 5386.


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