The Environment Agency has prosecuted a
Mr Colin Cooter of High Street, Selsey,
The court heard that on the 18 August 2005 Mr Cooter set a fixed net just outside of
Mr Cooter had been seen by witnesses the previous evening actively using a fixed net with the floats clearly visible on the water surface outside of
When Mr Cooter came ashore, one of the water bailiffs approached him and introduced himself. Mr Cooter became immediately aggressive, swearing and threatening the Officers. Officers called for emergency Police assistance as they believed their safety was at risk. Mr Cooter then attempted to tow his boat up the beach with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. When the rope snapped, he left the scene.
Environment Agency Officer, Paul Newman, said: “Mr Cooter used threatening and abusive language when we approached him. We take cases of abusive behaviour against our staff very seriously. It is unacceptable and we will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who behaves in this way
“Mr Cooter had his net too near to the surface of water. This can cause serious ecological and environmental problems by preventing fish from returning to their native rivers to spawn. We are pleased that the Magistrates took this case seriously – fisheries laws are in place to protect the environment so must be adhered to. We will be carrying out joint inshore patrols with Sussex Sea Fisheries to ensure this happens.
The Environment Agency has also been doing joint inshore patrols with the Marine Fisheries Agency. Last week Officers seized protected Sea Trout found on board a