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 – 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