Caught hook, line, and sinker: Illegal fishing sees fines handed out to offenders in Yorkshire
Fishing without a licence has cost five anglers from Yorkshire almost £2,000
Five men from Yorkshire have been found guilty of fishing illegally in waters across the region during a day of sentencing at Hull and Holderness Magistrates’ Court on 4th January 2023.
Matthew Simpson of Willow Park, Pontefract, was found guilty of fishing without a licence at Stubbs Hall, Hemsworth on 28th July 2022. He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £443. The penalty includes a fine of £220, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £88.
In a separate case, Paul Partridge from Hall Broome Gardens, Rotherham was proved guilty of fishing without a licence at Stubbs Hall, Hemsworth on 22nd May 2022. He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £389. The penalty includes a fine of £220, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £34.
Thomas Burns of Johnson Street, Selby pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence at Boston Spa, River Wharfe, Wetherby on the 25th June 2022. He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £136 including a fine of £40, costs of £80 and a victim surcharge of £16.
Curtis Chapman from Ester Grove, Wakefield was found guilty of fishing without a licence at Birkwood Farm Lake, Wakefield on 5th July 2022. He was also ordered to pay a total penalty of £443. The penalty includes a fine of £220, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £88.
Jago Smith of Harrington Road, Bridlington was proved guilty of fishing without a licence at Thornwick Bay Caravan Park, Bridlington on 7th August 2022. He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £443. The penalty includes a fine of £220, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £88.
Between the five fishermen, the total cost amount to be paid was £1,854. An annual fishing licence would have cost them just £30 each or £6 for a single day fishing licence.
Paul Caygill, Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer, said:
“These five anglers have been rightly punished for the illegal fishing they undertook last summer, and the cases show how seriously the courts take these offences. We hope the penalties received will act as a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of breaking the laws and byelaws we have in place across England.
“Illegal fishing undermines the Environment Agency’s efforts to protect fish stocks and make fishing sustainable. Money raised from licence sales is re-invested back into the sport and, for those caught cheating the system, we will not hesitate to prosecute.”
Fishing illegally with a rod and line can incur a fine of up to £2,500 and offenders can also have their fishing equipment seized. The Environment Agency carries out enforcement work all year round and is supported by partners including the police and the Angling Trust. Fisheries enforcement work is funded by income generated from rod licences sales and is intelligence-led, targeting known hot-spots and where illegal fishing is reported.
Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, stream, drain, canal or still water needs a licence to fish. A 1-day licence costs from just £6, and an annual licence currently costs from just £30 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13 to 16-year-olds. Licences are available from www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
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