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 Environment Agency tackles illegal fishing in Buckinghamshire

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PostSubject: Environment Agency tackles illegal fishing in Buckinghamshire   Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:36 pm

The Environment Agency is warning members of the public to take extra care and be vigilant whilst out fishing, after receiving numerous reports of suggested illegal activity in Buckinghamshire.

Environment Agency tackles illegal fishing in Buckinghamshire
The Environment Agency is stepping up evening illegal fish patrols after reports of poaching in the Kingsey area of Buckinghamshire.

After receiving numerous reports of suggested illegal activity at Kingsey Lake and the surrounding waters within the Thames area, the Environment Agency is warning members of the public to take extra care and be vigilant whilst out fishing.

Fishing is one of the most popular pastimes and with summer just around the corner, the number of people on and around the water will increase dramatically. The pleasant evenings and weekends will bring many people out to enjoy fishing along the river, but unfortunately a few of those people are illegally taking fish from the rivers and waters.

Nicholas Robinson, an Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer, said: “Although poaching is often portrayed as a victimless crime, this is far from true. It can have a very serious impact on the local fisheries, angling clubs and businesses that are reliant on healthy fish populations in rivers and lakes.

“Many people don’t realise that taking fish from inland waters, including rivers, streams, lakes and canals is strictly controlled and may constitute an offence. Anyone 12 years old or over whom wants to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish and eels in England and Wales must have a valid licence. If you are caught fishing illegally, you can face tough penalties, including fines of up to £2,500 and a ban from fishing.”

Mr Robinson added: “Fish thieves are well organised and it is only through the understanding and help of the public that we can tackle this problem. Usually the only evidence that these people have come and gone is the sudden drop of fish numbers in a stretch of water.”

It is an offence to use any fishing equipment for which you are not licensed, or to fish in the close season, which runs from March 15 to June 16 on rivers. Parents who know that their children are going fishing need to make sure that each child (12 or over) has a licence and permission to do so and that they have the right equipment. It might seem like harmless fun but children angling without the permission of the owner to fish from those waters are actually committing an offence under the Theft Act, 1968.

All anglers need to find out about fishing bylaws, have a valid Environment Agency Rod Licence, permission to fish the water and the right equipment to do so.

If anyone sees or needs to report an incident call the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Anglers and members of the public are the Environment Agency’s eyes and ears at the water side and their help is needed to detect any offences that may be occurring, so that the Environment Agency can take the appropriate action.
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