The owner of a popular coarse fishery has been found guilty of stocking fish into his lakes without consent from the Environment Agency.
Roy O’Malley of Three Oaks Farm, Furzeley Corner, Waterlooville, Hants pleaded guilty by post to the charge and was convicted on January 17 at Portsmouth Magistrates Court. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay £80 costs.
The court heard how Environment Agency Fishery Officers visited Mr O’Malley after seeing a fishing report in a local newspaper.
Mr O’Malley admitted to the Officers that he had recently put 100 barbel into his fishery, even though he had previously been warned that it was a criminal offence under fisheries legislation to do so without written consent from the Agency.
Following the case, Water Bailiff Dominic Longley said: “The Environment Agency puts a great deal of effort into regulating fish removals and introductions so that the spread of fish disease is reduced and fish are not put into unsuitable habitats.
“In the wild, barbel are exclusively a river species and we only allow them to be put into still waters which are suitable for them to thrive. Had Mr O’Malley applied, he would not have obtained consent to put these fish into Three Oaks, which is small and already heavily stocked.
“The law is crystal clear – before introducing fish to inland waters you must first obtain written consent from the Environment Agency,” he added.