Norfolk anglers fined for illegal fishing

Five Norfolk men were among those fined £9,000. Picture: Environment Agency

Five Norfolk men were among those fined £9,000. Picture: Environment Agency - Credit: Archant

Five Norfolk fisherman are among those ordered to pay fines for illegal fishing activity.

Fifteen people caught fishing illegally in Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk have been ordered to pay fines, costs and victim surcharges totalling nearly £9,000.

On March 28 a judge at Luton Magistrates' Court found the anglers guilty and they were fined for unlicensed fishing, possession of an unlicensed instrument with the intention to fish and for unlicensed fishing and providing a false name and address.

The five from Norfolk were caught on the Broads, two on the River Bure, two at Rollesby Broad and one at Womack Water. All were identified during routine patrols undertaken by the Environment Agency joined by Norfolk police and the Broads Authority.

Environment Agency enforcement team leader, Lesley Robertson said: 'Our fisheries enforcement officers regularly patrol waters across East Anglia.

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'During August, September and October 2018, our officers reported 15 anglers for 16 fishing offences across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. The court imposed a total of £8959.05, comprising of £6410 in fines, £1912.05 costs and £637 victim surcharge.

'Our officers are deemed to be a constable for the purposes of enforcing the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975, or any order or byelaw under it. These cases show that anyone found fishing illegally or fails to provide their name and address to an officer carrying out their duties may face prosecution and a fine.'

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Despite the threat of a £2,500 fine, more than 250 people were convicted of illegal or unlicensed offences last year in Norfolk.

A 12-month licence for the 2018/19 season costs £30 for non-migratory trout and coarse fish or £82 for salmon and migratory trout. Junior rod licenses (which are free), are available to junior anglers (aged 13-16), anglers 12 or under do not require a licence.

The money raised through the sales of rod licences is re-invested and enables the Environment Agency to improve all fisheries including rivers for anglers. Officers and members of the Norfolk Police Broads Beat routinely undertake licence checks.

Illegal fishing should be reported via 0800 807060.

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