Romford man catches a fine for fishing illegally
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A man from Romford has been fined for fishing illegally.
John Tibbs, 46, was caught fishing without a licence by Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement officers at Thorney Weir lakes, West Drayton, Middlesex along with two other men.
An Environment Agency annual licence at the time of the incident cost £27, yet the men had to cough up £300 in fines with an additional £127 in cost and £30 victim surcharge.
All anglers failed to appear in court.
Richard Tyner, Environment Agency Fisheries team leader said: “We check licences across all fisheries in Hertfordshire and Essex, and work in partnership with fishery owners and the police to detect and deter fisheries crime.
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“People who don’t buy a licence are cheating other anglers and the future of the sport.
“The Environment Agency relies on the income from rod licence sales to continue the important work we do to protect fish stocks, improve fisheries and encourage more people to take up fishing.”
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Mr Tyner said that getting caught fishing without a rod licence could lead to a criminal conviction and a fine up to £2,500 and there is no excuse for not having one.
“Annual rod licences for trout and coarse fishing remain at £5 for 12 to 16 year–olds, £18 for senior and disabled concessions and £27 for non-concessions,” he said.
“Children under 12 can fish for free and licences are easy to buy from the Post Office website or by phone on 03448 005 386
“Anglers should always ensure they have permission to fish at a fishery and check Environment Agency byelaws.”
Last year, Environment Agency officers checked more than 62,000 licences and prosecuted more than 1,900 licence cheats. Between them, they were ordered to pay fines and costs in excess of £600,000.
To help crack down on unlicensed fishing, the Environment Agency urges anyone to report illegal activity by calling 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.