Photo: Environment Agency

Fishing without a licence has cost five anglers from the South East more than £2,000.

The Environment Agency carries out fisheries enforcement work all-year-round and anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution and a significant fine.

The total money to be paid in fines is more than 70 times the amount of money than if they’d just bought an annual fishing licence, or 350 times more than a single £6 day fishing licence.

A man aged 42 from Uxbridge, London was caught fishing without a licence on 4, June 2022 at Albans Lakes, Colney, London.

Darenth Complex – Dartford

A 25-year-old man from Hailsham, Wealden, East Sussex was caught fishing without a licence on 25, June 2022 at Darenth Complex, Dartford, Kent.

A man aged 28, of Swindon was caught fishing without a licence on 2, July 2022 at Smiths Lake, Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire.

A 32-year old man, of Southampton, Hampshire, was caught fishing without a fishing licence and also leaving a rod and line with its bait or hook in the water unattended on 21, August 2022 at River Farm, Fareham.

A man aged 52, of Southsea, Portsmouth was caught fishing without a licence and also leaving a rod and line with its bait or hook in the water unattended on 10, September at Three Oaks, Denmead, Waterlooville, Hampshire.

Following cases brought by the Environment Agency at Swindon and Hastings Magistrates, the courts have ordered the five men pay a combined total of £1,100 fines, £640 in costs and £386 victim surcharges. A total of £2,126.

Kye Jerrom, a senior enforcement officer with the Environment Agency, said: “We hope the penalties received by these illegal anglers will act as a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of fishing without a valid Environment Agency fishing licence or breaking the fisheries laws we have in place across England.

“The cases show how seriously the courts take these offences and that people fishing illegally will be held to account.

“Our fisheries enforcement officers routinely carry out fishing licence checks, and we urge anyone with information about illegal fishing to contact us on 0800 807060.”

The money raised through the sales of fishing licences is 100% re-invested into improving and maintaining fisheries and angling. Last year the Environment Agency invested nearly £22 million of fishing licence income improving all types of fisheries, including lakes and rivers, for anglers.

Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence to fish. A 1-day licence costs from just £6, and an annual licence currently costs from just £30 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13 – 16-year-olds. Licences are available from or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

By Ed

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