Nearly £200,000 has been paid in fines and costs by 1,405 illegal anglers brought in front of the courts by the Environment Agency during the first three months of 2007. In addition, 11 anglers received cautions. The figures include the cases prosecuted last month (March 2007) which saw 538 anglers ordered to pay fines and costs totalling more than £76,000.
Fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish and eels in England and Wales and the Border Esk in Scotland requires a licence from the Environment Agency. Failure to have a licence is an offence. Those caught fishing illegally face tough penalties, including fines of up to £2,500 and a ban from fishing.
The protection of vulnerable fish stocks and increasing fishing participation are among the Environment Agency’s key environmental objectives. The money raised through rod licence sales; some £19m, is invested directly in fisheries work that benefits all anglers.
New rod licences can be purchased from 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets which sell them; a direct debit can be set up, and for a small additional charge they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or from our web site – www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence any time, day or night.
Region Defendants prosecuted Total fines Total costs
Anglian 55 £3,281 £3,485
Midlands 18 £1,655 £1,335
North East 89 £5,673 £5,485
North West 44 £2,115 £3,045
Southern 162 £14,769 £10,145
South West 23 £2,220 £1,360
Thames 131 £10,155 £8,865
Wales 16 £1,690 £1,095
Total 538 £41,558 £34,815