On 21 December 2016 at Nottingham Magistrates Court, Benjamin Haviland of Juniper Gardens, Bingham, was fined £597 for fishing during the closed season.
Magistrates heard that on 28 May 2016 an Environment Agency enforcement officer found 20-year-old Mr Haviland fishing at Gunthorpe, on the River Trent, without a licence during the close season. A valid rod licence is required to fish all waters in England, but even with a licence you are not allowed to fish during the close season. He was not able to produce a valid rod licence and was also reported for that offence.
Peter Haslock of the Environment Agency said:
The majority of anglers fish legally and purchase a rod licence. We invest the money from rod licences back into fisheries improvements, fish stocks and fishing, this is essential for the future of the sport.
The close season is in place for a reason, it allows the fish to breed without interference, which keeps stocks stable and helps keep the rivers healthy.
During 2015-16 the Environment Agency checked more than 62,000 rod licences and prosecuted more than 1,900 anglers for rod and line offences resulting in fines and costs in excess of £500,000.
Anyone witnessing illegal fishing incidents in progress can report it directly to the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Information on illegal fishing and environmental crime can also be reported anonymously to Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.
You need a valid Environment Agency rod licence if you are aged 12 or over and fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England.
‘Close seasons’ are seasons when you can’t fish for some types of fish on certain types of water, you can’t fish for coarse fish on any river in England and Wales from 15 March to 15 June every year.
Notes for editors
All rod licence income is used to fund work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries. Our work includes responding to fish kills and, where we can, rescuing fish; improving habitats for fish and facilities for anglers, protecting stocks from illegal fishing, plus fish restocking, invasive species eradication, and working with partners to encourage people to take-up fishing for the first time.
Mr Haviland was sentenced in his absence to the following offences:
On the 28th day of May 2016 at Gunthorpe – River Trent, Nottingham in a place where fishing is regulated fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicensed fishing instrument, namely rod and line. Contrary to section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.
On the 28th day of May 2016 at Gunthorpe – River Trent, Nottingham fished for freshwater fish in the close season Contrary to National Byelaw 2 of the Environment Agency Byelaws made on the 12th July 2010 and contrary to National Byelaw 6 confirmed 14th March 2000 made pursuant to sections 210 and 211 Schedule 25 of the Water Resources Act 1991.