Following cases brought by the Environment Agency in January and February 2023 at Southampton, Swindon, Barkingside and Hastings Magistrates, the courts have ordered seven men pay a combined total £1,673 in fines, £945 in costs and £615 victim surcharges. A total of £3,233.

Of these seven, four men are from Kent.

  • A London man was caught fishing without a licence on 24 July 2022 at Frant Lakes, Tunbridge Wells and fined £443.
  • A man from Tonbridge, Kent was caught fishing without a licence on 30, July 2022 at Monk Lakes, Staplehurst, Kent and fined £443.
  • A Greenhithe, Kent man was caught fishing without a licence on 25, September 2022 at Monk Lakes, Staplehurst, Kent. He was fined £443.
  • Another man from Tonbridge, Kent was caught fishing without a licence on 30, July 2022 at Monk Lakes, Staplehurst, Kent and fined £443.

Environment Agency fisheries patrol officers, including a voluntary bailiff, at various locations across the South East, have caught and successfully prosecuted seven anglers for illegal fishing. One angler was also prosecuted for the theft of live fish.

In total, all seven anglers from the South East netted over £3,233 in fines including costs and surcharges. Between the fishermen, the total money to be paid is more than 107 times the amount of money than if they’d just bought an annual fishing licence, or 538 times more than a single £6 day fishing licence.

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.

“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.”

Buy a fishing licence

All the money raised through the sales of fishing licences is 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.

The Environment Agency enforcement teams continue to make sure anglers comply with regulations to protect fish stock. In 2021 to 2022, fisheries enforcement officers checked just over 41,000 fishing licences and successfully prosecuted nearly 730 anglers for fishing without a licence.

By Ed

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