THREE brothers who were fishing for freshwater fish using a handline have landed a total of £750 in fines and costs.
In cases heard in Bridgend Magistrates’ on
19 August 2003, Dwayne and Steven Watts, both of Tenison Road , St Cradocs , Pontypool were found guilty of fishing for freshwater fish in the River Ogmore at Merthyr Mawr on 16 July 2002
. Both defendants were fined £200 each and ordered to pay £50 each towards the costs of Environment Agency Wales who brought the prosecutions.
At an earlier hearing a third defendant, Richard Watts of 
Cherhill Court, Mordon, Swindon had pleaded guilty to the same charge on 15 July 2003
. He was fined £150 and ordered to pay £100 costs to the Agency.
The use of an unlicensed instrument is an offence contrary to Section 27(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.
All three defendants had originally been summoned to appear before the court on
30 September 2002 but had failed to attend. After a further failure to attend on 14 October 2002 the court granted arrest warrants. The warrants in respect of Dwayne and Steven Watts were executed and both defendants appeared in court on 27 June 2003
After the case an Agency spokesperson said: “These men appear to have had little regard for the law or for other people’s property. The only legal way to fish in freshwater is by the use of a rod and line, to be in possession of a valid Agency rod licence and by obtaining the fishery owners permission to fish.”