Kent crackdown hooks six illegal anglers

25 Sep 2023 10:57 AM

As part of an ongoing Environment Agency crackdown, six anglers have been found guilty of fishing illegally in Kent on separate occasions earlier this year.

Their cases were brought by the Environment Agency to Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Friday 1 September.

All the cases except one involved fishing without a licence, with a further case of angling outside of the Close Season. From 15 March to 15 June, fishing is prohibited on rivers to allow fish to spawn.

Dave Webb, Area Fisheries Manager at the Environment Agency, recently said:

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

“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, 7 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 currently costs from just £33 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13 - 16-year-olds.

Licences are available from 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.