The close season campaign was supported by nearly 500 volunteers from the Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS), whose ‘eyes and ears’ coverage on the riverbank is invaluable in supporting Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers.
The volunteer bailiffs undertook 6555 man hours of patrols as part of Operation CLAMPDOWN 6, reporting 111 incidents to the Environment Agency and 34 to the police. A total of 77 intelligence logs were submitted to the Environment Agency and police.
The latest national fishing licence blitz, covering the first two weekends of the new season, checked 1461 licences and reported 88 fishing illegally without a licence. Those found guilty of unlicensed fishing by the courts face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £2500.
Graeme Storey, Fisheries Manager, Environment Agency said:
Environment Agency fisheries enforcement patrols continue all year round. Anyone tempted to fish illegally should know that they are likely to be challenged at any time of the day or night. With the support of our partners and the VBS there is an increased likelihood of being caught out – don’t risk it.
Dilip Sarkar MBE, National Enforcement Manager with the Angling Trust said:
This is our most successful Operation CLAMPDOWN yet, with a record number of volunteers trained and available and over 70 joint patrols with the Environment Agency or police. The VBS is now making a tangible contribution to tackling illegal fishing, which is welcomed by the Angling Trust and our partners.
For more information on the Voluntary Bailiff Service and the six free Fisheries Enforcement Workshops that will be held around England this autumn, please go to the Angling Trust’s website.
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