Environment Agency hooks illegal anglers from Northamptonshire

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The cases were brought to Northampton Magistrates Court by the Environment Agency on 1 April 2019.

David Shaw, 41, of Hawkins Close, Rothwell, Kettering, pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence at Cromwell Carp Lake near Newark in Nottinghamshire.

He was ordered to pay a total of £677.47. An annual fishing licence would have cost him just £30.

The penalty includes a fine of £500, costs of £127.47 and a victim surcharge of £50 after Shaw was found in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975).

Darren Clark, 29, of Wymington Road, Rushden, pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence at Grendon Dog Kennels, Grendon, Northamptonshire.

He was ordered to pay a total of £423.47. The penalty includes a fine of £266, costs of £127.47 and a victim surcharge of £30 after Clark was found in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975).

Following the verdicts, Caroline Tero, fisheries team leader for Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire Area, said:

These cases show how seriously the courts take these offences and we hope it will act as a deterrent to any angler who is thinking of fishing without a licence.

We would also like to remind anglers who wish to buy their licence online of the importance of buying their fishing licence directly from GOV.UK as they will receive a reference number allowing them to go fishing on the same day.

Customers who use third-party sites may be charged more and might not get added to the official database as quickly.

All of the money raised from fishing licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, benefitting anglers and, for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.

Every year across the country, thousands of anglers are prosecuted for not having a fishing licence. As well as cheating other anglers, fishing illegally can carry a hefty penalty. Getting caught without a licence could land a fine of up to £2,500.

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- to 16-year-olds. Licences are available from GOV.UK or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can purchase a licence from your local Post Office branch.

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 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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