Where’s Dave? as Environment Agency launches its latest television campaign promoting rod licences.

“Where’s Dave? He’s not coming. Landed himself a big one. In court. A big fine and a criminal record. For not having a rod licence.”

The Environment Agency’s latest television campaign promoting rod licences started on May 18 and will run until June 22, and then again from July 20 – August 3.

It features three anglers; two of whom are enjoying a day out on the riverbank, while the third sits a home ruing his court appearance, fine and criminal record…all because he did not buy a rod licence.

The 30 second and 10 second advertisements will run during the evenings on the Sky and Discovery channels supporting many of the country’s favourite angling programmes and presenters, including Rex Hunt, Record Beakers, Hooked on Fishing, Nick Hancock, Go Fishing, Tales from the Riverbank, Total Fishing, John Wilson and the Great Rod Race. 

It is expected the campaign will reach about 20% of adults, and has been timed to coincide with the start of summer when many anglers will dust of their rods, lines, floats and nets and head for the water, but who might, in their enthusiasm to get casting, forget to buy a rod licence.

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.

“Rod licence fees are essential in improving and maintaining our fisheries. Last year we invested approximately £29 million in fishing, with £19 million of this coming from rod licence fees paid by anglers,” explained Head of Fisheries Dafydd Evans.

“However, a number of anglers believed a licence was valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. This is not the case. All rod licences expire on March 31.”

For 2007/2008 a full season coarse and trout fishing licence costs just £24.50 and a salmon and sea trout licence costs £66.50. There is also a range of concessionary, junior, eight-day and one day licences. The almost three million people who receive Disability Living Allowance in England and Wales are eligible for a half price fishing licence from April 1, 2007.

Buying a new licence couldn’t be easier – around 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets sell them; a direct debit can be set up, and they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or on-line at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence any time, day or night.