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Fines issued for anglers in Cheshire caught flouting the law

Two men have been found guilty of fishing offences in Cheshire resulting in a criminal record and fines amounting to £675

  • Two men have been found guilty of fishing offences in Cheshire resulting in a criminal record and fines amounting to £675 – 20 times the cost of a fishing licence
  • The two separate convictions saw fines issued in connection with fish poaching offences under Schedule 1 of the Theft Act 1968 and fishing without a rod licence
  • The illegal anglers were caught in Cheshire and faced prosecution at Crewe Magistrates Court.

Following separate investigations by the Environment Agency and Cheshire Police, two men have appeared at Crewe Magistrates Court this month, with combined fines of £675 being handed down for fisheries offences.

Thomas Culling of Paddington, Warrington pleaded guilty to an offence under Schedule 1 of the Theft Act 1968 on the 10 May after admitting to catching fish from Grey Mist Mere, Warrington.

When questioned by Cheshire Police, Mr Culling stated that he wasn’t a member of Warrington Anglers Association and admitted to catching fish from the Grey Mist Mere which is managed by the Association and requires membership to fish.

The court fined Mr Culling £80, with costs of £120 and victim surcharge of £32 bringing the total to £232 – 7 times the cost of a standard fishing licence.

In a second case, Adam Greenwood of Macclesfield appeared before Crewe Magistrates Court on the 16 May 2023 after a routine patrol at Astbury Mere, Congleton, by the Environment Agency found Mr Greenwood fishing without a valid licence for his three fishing rods.

The court issued Mr Greenwood a fine of £220, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £88 amounting £443; 13 times the cost of a fishing licence.

Following these two verdicts Rebecca Marsh, an Environment Agency Fisheries Team Leader, said:

We are committed to tackling illegal fishing of all kinds and will take action, working with the police where appropriate.

Illegal fishing undermines the Environment Agency’s efforts to protect fish stocks and make fishing sustainable.  Part of the money raised from fishing licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries for the benefit of anglers.

People who don’t buy a licence are not only cheating other anglers and the future of the sport but running the risk of criminal conviction and a fine. There is no excuse – annual fishing licences are available from only £33 and are easy to buy online.

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 intelligence-led, targeting known hot-spots and where illegal fishing is reported.

Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. A 1-day licence costs from just £6 and an annual licence costs from just £30 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13 - 16-year-olds. Licences are available from Get a fishing licence or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency incident hotline 24/7 on 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fines-issued-for-anglers-in-cheshire-caught-flouting-the-law

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