THE Environment Agency is warning Trout fisheries in Sussex that they could face fines of up to £2,500 if they are found to be stocking illegal trout.
Agency Officers are investigating Trout introductions at fisheries across
and will be taking enforcement action where fish stocking has taken place without the prior written consent of the Agency
The regulations are in place to minimise potential damage to fisheries and the wider environment that could be caused by the illegal movement of trout.
Risks include the spread of fish diseases and parasites as well as increasing competition with native fish for food, habitat and spawning sites.
Other reasons include the increased threat to native fish species from non-native species both through hunting and interbreeding. This interbreeding is especially concerning as it causes reduced fertility thus threatening the survival of native species.
The Agency’s Environment Manager for Sussex Richard Hammond said: “Any Trout fishery found to be breaching these regulations will have be taken to court. The maximum penalty for an offence like this is £2,500.
He added “I know it’s not always easy to keep up to date with paperwork, however completing section 30 forms is really important as it helps to protect our own natural brown trout and keep native stocks truly wild.”