A 28-year old man from Burton Overy, Leicester has been successfully prosecuted after being found guilty of fishing with an unlicensed rod and line in May 2018.
The case was brought to Wellingborough Magistrates Court by the Environment Agency on 12 November 2018 where Sam Kirk, of Scotland Lane, Burton Overy, was proved guilty in his absence and ordered to pay a total penalty of £957.
The penalty includes a fine of £220 plus costs of £737 after Kirk was found in possession of an unlicensed fishing instrument, namely rod and line, with the intention of using it for fishing on 5 May 2018 at Beedles Lake, East Goscote, Leicester, contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.
Following the verdict, Pete Haslock, Fisheries Enforcement Team Leader for the Environment Agency said:
We take all kinds of illegal fishing extremely seriously - whether it’s those fishing without a licence, or licensed anglers using illegal equipment. This case shows anglers how seriously the courts take these offences and we hope it will act as a deterrent to other anglers who flout the laws.
Illegal fishing is not fair on other anglers who fish within the law, and it also endangers the future of the sport by damaging the sustainability of fish stocks.
We regularly carry out enforcement operations to protect fish stocks and improve fisheries and urge anyone who has any information about any incidents of illegal fishing to report them to us so we can investigate.
Anyone who suspects anglers of illegal fishing are urged to contact the Environment Agency’s 24/7 hotline on 0800 807060, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.