Environment Agency
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West Midlands anglers land total penalties of over £1,500

Four anglers from Birmingham, Stoke on Trent, Telford, and Shrewsbury received total penalties of £1,507 for fishing without a licence.

Four men from the West Midlands have been found guilty of fishing illegally at Northampton Magistrates Court in cases brought by the Environment Agency on Monday 12 February 2024.

Vasile Bogdan, 54, of Barrows Road pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence at Mereside Fishery, Earlswood, Birmingham on 16 July 2023. He has received a total penalty of £339, including a fine of £146, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £58.

Another angler, Dumitru Bosinceanu, 29, of Burford, Telford also pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence at Baden Hall Fishery, Eccleshall, Staffordshire on 23 September 2023.  He was handed a penalty of £297, including a fine of £116, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £46.

The other two anglers were proved guilty in absence of fishing without a licence.  They are Stefan Morse, 30, of Oxford Road, Stoke on Trent who was fishing at Chatterley Whitfield, Chell Heath, Tunstall, Staffordshire on 22 August 2023, and David Spragg, 58, of Freer Meadow, Shrewsbury for fishing at Strichley Pools, Telford on 21 September 2023.

Mr Morse was handed a penalty of £443, including a fine of £220, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £88 and Mr Spragg received a penalty of £428, including a fine of £220, costs of £120 and a victim surcharge of £88.

Following the verdict, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:

“We hope the penalties these anglers have received sends out a message to others that illegal fishing is taken seriously and those who flout the law can expect to face enforcement action.

“They could have bought a one-day rod licence for just £6.60 or an annual licence costs from £33, which would have avoided both the fine and court process, so this has proved costly for them.

“Fishing illegally can incur a fine of up to £2,500 and offenders can also have their fishing equipment seized. We inspect rod licences 24/7, seven days a week to check on cases of illegal fishing and for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.

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

Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence to fish. A 1-day licence costs from just £6.60, and an annual licence costs from £33 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13 - 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.

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.

Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency incident hotline 24/7 on 0800 807060 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Fisheries enforcement blog: Fisheries Enforcement 2023: A Year of Action and Collaboration  - Creating a better place (blog.gov.uk)

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

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/west-midlands-anglers-land-total-penalties-of-over-1500

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