DURING January of this year the Environment Agency successfully prosecuted 387 people for rod licence related offences. The month’s fines amounted to a total of £24,294 with costs of £23,150 awarded to the Agency.
On average these unlicenced fishing trips cost each cheat £121 in fines and costs. The month’s heaviest penalties were for one angler in
and two in Dewsbury in the North East who were all fined £250 with costs of £85.
January’s successful prosecutions represented an increase of over a quarter from the previous month. The total fines were also up almost £7,000.
Dafydd Evans, the Agency’s new Head of Fisheries from 1 March, said he was pleased with the increase in prosecutions and fines because it sends a clear message to those that cheat everyone else by not buying a licence.
Dr Evans said: “I am very pleased to see that the effectiveness of the Agency’s enforcement programme is being reflected by the higher levels of both prosecutions and fines.
‘The downside of this news is that it shows a substantial number of people are continuing to fish without a rod licence. This is something I shall be seeking to investigate and address in my new role.”
Buying a licence couldn’t be easier – there are around 17,000 Post Offices and other outlets which sell them direct; and for a small additional charge they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or from the EA website.