Recreational anglers Roshid Ahmed and Suna Miah appeared at Southend Magistrates Court on 16 May 2018 in a prosecution brought by the MMO.
The court heard how both men were observed fishing for bass on Southend Pier on 29 August 2016. The bass and both men’s passes to fish on Southend Pier were seized. Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority collected and measured the fish and in total there were 68 bass retained by the two anglers, all of which were below the minimum conservation reference size of 42cm in length. The details of this were then reported to the MMO for investigation.
Both defendants pleaded guilty and offered an apology to the court stating that they were unaware of the bass regulations at the time of the offending but understand the rules currently in place.
Mr Miah was given a six month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. Mr Ahmed was also given a six month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
A spokesperson for the MMO said:
Bass conservation is a very important issue and this was the first case relating to recreational angling for Bass to be heard in a domestic court.
In cases like these MMO will always take proportionate and appropriate action, including prosecution, to ensure offenders do not profit from such illegal activity and to protect fish stocks for the wider fishing industry and future generations.