A Selby man was fined £1,000 at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court today, after pleading guilty to introducing fish to a lake in
Colin Forsyth, aged 60, of Cliffe, Selby,
Helen Ferguson, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that at the end of 2005, the Washington & Harraton Angling Club decided to add fish to
The club contacted Mr Colin Forsyth, who runs Newhay Carp Farm near Selby, and placed an order for new fish. It was agreed that Mr Forsyth would obtain the Environment Agency’s prior consent before adding any fish to the lake.
Under section 30 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fish Act 1975, the Environment Agency regulates the movement of fish within all inland waters in
On 13 December 2005, the Environment Agency received an application to introduce fish into
On 17 February 2006, the Environment Agency received three further applications from Mr Forsyth relating to proposed introductions at
The Environment Agency suspected foul play and interviewed the angling club secretary, John Hancock, and Mr Forsyth.
Mr Forsyth admitted that he had never intended to introduce fish on 4 March 2006. He had in fact introduced them on 10 February 2006, in the full knowledge that he did not have the Environment Agency’s consent to do so. However, the club had withheld payment until he produced a copy of the Environment Agency’s consent. He created the three false applications in order to deceive the Environment Agency.
Mr Hancock received a formal caution.
In mitigation, Colin Forsyth entered an early guilty plea, and has no previous convictions.
Speaking after the case, Kevin Summerson, special enforcement team leader for the Environment Agency said: “It is vital that all introduced fish are given a health check. Fish diseases can wipe out entire populations and the consequences are even more disastrous if the disease is transmitted to wild fish stocks.
“It is not acceptable for people to take risks with wildlife, and a court has confirmed this in its sentence today.”