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Six anglers catch six fines for fishing without a licence

Fishing without a licence has cost anglers a total of £2,490 in penalties.

Six men from Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Chester have been found guilty of fishing illegally on separate occasions last year.

Their cases were brought by the Environment Agency to Northampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday 17 January 2023.

Samuel Mcgraw, 28, of Rochester Road, Stoke on Trent, was found guilty of fishing without a licence at Park Hall Pool, Weston Coyney, Stoke on Trent on 11 September 2022. He was proved guilty in absence and 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 Chris Jordan, 50, of Curtis Way, Osbaston, Nuneaton was proved guilty in absence of fishing without a licence at Friezeland Pools, Market Bosworth on 29 September 2022. He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £443, including a fine of £220, costs of £135, and a victim surcharge of £88.

David Blackwell, 48, of Coleridge Close, Chester was proved guilty in absence of fishing without a licence at Cudmore Fisheries, Staffordshire on 14 September 2022. He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £443, including a fine of £220, costs of £135, and a victim surcharge of £88.

Dean Edwards, 54, of Signal Grove, Walsall was proved guilty in absence of fishing without a licence at Issac Walton Place, Bloxwich on 31 August 2022 and ordered to pay a total penalty of £443, including a fine of £220, costs of £135, and a victim surcharge of £88.

Joel Field, 38, of Birstall Way, Birmingham pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence at Lincomb Lock, Stourport on 1 July 2022. He was ordered to pay a total penalty £275, including a fine of £100, costs of £135, and a victim surcharge of £40.

Nicholas Smith, 37, from Foster Street, Walsall was proved guilty in absence of fishing without a licence at Chorley Springs, Burntwood on 10 September 2022. He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £443, including a fine of £220, costs of £135, and a victim surcharge of £88.

Nichola Tomlinson, Fisheries Enforcement Team Leader at the Environment Agency, said:

We hope the penalties received by these illegal anglers will act as a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of breaking the laws and byelaws we have in place across England.

The cases show how seriously the courts take these offences and the anglers have been rightly punished for the illegal fishing they undertook last year. 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.

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 anglers and, for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.

The Environment Agency enforcement teams continue to make sure anglers comply with regulations to protect fish stock. In 2021 to 2022, fisheries enforcement officers checked just over 41,000 fishing licences and successfully prosecuted nearly 730 anglers for fishing without a licence.

You must purchase a fishing licence to fish in England and Wales. Annual licences start from £30 and can be purchased online or by phone, more information can be found here.

The Environment Agency’s fisheries’ annual report 2021-22 reveals how nearly £22m in rod licence income – achieved through almost 935,000 fishing licence sales – has been spent during 2021 and 2022 to enhance and protect England’s fisheries.

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.

Background

Samuel Mcgraw was charged with the following offence:

On the 11th day of September 2022 at Park Hall Pool, Weston Coyney, in a place where fishing is regulated, fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicensed fishing instrument, namely rod and line. Contrary to Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

Chris Jordan was charged with the following offence:

On the 29th day of September 2022 at Freizeland Pools, Market Bosworth, in a place where fishing is regulated, fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicenced fishing instrument, namely rod and line. Contrary to Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

David Blackwell was charged with the following offence:

On the 14th day of September 2022 at Cudmore Fisheries, Whitmore, in a place where fishing is regulated, fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicenced fishing instrument, namely rod and line. Contrary to Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

Dean Edwards was charged with the following offence:

On the 31st day of August 2022 at Issac Walton Pool, Bloxwich in a place where fishing is regulated, was in possession of an unlicenced fishing instrument, namely rod and line, with the intention of using it for fishing, contrary to Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

Joel Field was charged with the following offence:

On the 1st day of July 2022 at Lincomb Lock – River Severn, Stourport, in a place where fishing is regulated, fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicenced fishing instrument, namely rod and line. Contrary to Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

Nicholas Smith was charged with the following offence:

On the 10th day of September 2022 at Chorley Springs, Burntwood, in a place where fishing is regulated, fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicenced fishing instrument, namely rod and line. Contrary to Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

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

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/six-anglers-catch-six-fines-for-fishing-without-a-licence

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