EIGHT fishermen were fined for fishing without a rod licence in cases heard at Bridgend Magistrate’s Court on 25 November 2003.
They were all seen fishing at Hazel Court Lakes near Bridgend on 18 May 2003, contrary to section 27(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975. They were fined a total of £625 and ordered to pay a total of £480 in costs to Environment Agency Wales who brought the prosecutions.
The following were each fined £75 and each ordered to pay £60 in costs to the Agency:
Lee Anthony of Lon Helygen, Coed y Cwm, Ynysybwl, Pontypridd
Lee David of Sapele Drive, Splott, Cardiff
Steven David of Bryn Celyn, Pentwyn, Cardiff
Wyn David of Conybeare Rd., Sully, Penarth
Stephen Giles of The Grove, Barry
Christopher Hampson of Hill Rise, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff
Dean Phillips of Pennsylvania, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff.
They had all pleaded guilty by post.
A further individual, Anthony Rose of Phillips Terrace, Trehafod, Porth, Rhondda did not respond and his case was proved in his absence. He was fined £100 with £60 costs to the Agency.
Following the hearing an Agency spokesperson said: ” Those who choose to fish without first buying a licence are depriving the Agency, and licensed fishermen, of income that would be re-invested in improving fishing in Wales. The current cost of an annual licence for coarse fish and non-migratory trout is £22. So getting a licence is cheaper than getting a fine. Don’t get a fine – get a licence.”
Mark Dobbs of Verchoyle Gardens, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire pleaded guilty at Abergavenny Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday (25 November) to having in his possession with intent to fish for eels, an instrument other than one which he was entitled to use for that purpose by virtue of a fishing licence. This is an offence contrary to section 27(b) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975. He was given a Conditional Discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £60 costs to the Agency.
On 4 February 2003 Dobbs was seen on the River Wye at Bigsweir Bridge with elver trays and an elver dip net. He was asked for his licence which he said he had left at home, having bought it at Wyesham Post Office that evening. He was told to produce it within seven days but had failed to do so.
Commenting after the case an Agency spokesperson said: “It must be remembered that the elver licence is a commercial licence. There is concern throughout Europe about declining eel stocks. The Agency has put in place a national strategy to work towards ensuring the sustainability of these stocks and the regulation of commercial exploitation by licensing and bylaws is a major component of this strategy.”
Anyone who sees pollution, illegal tipping of waste, poaching, fish in distress or danger to the natural environment can contact the Agency’s emergency hotline on 0800 80 70 60. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, calls are free and will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Anyone aged 12 or over, who fishes for salmon, trout, freshwater fish or eels in England and Wales must have an Environment Agency rod fishing licence.
Licence Fees 2003/2004:
Coarse & Trout