Sleeping while fishing with unlicensed rod nets fines

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Three anglers have been fined by Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court for fishing illegally, two with unattended rods. One was found sleeping and unable to attend to his rods should they hook a fish, an offence designed to protect the health of fish. Two of them also failed to give their addresses to officers. Environment Agency bailiffs found the men on routine patrols. All three were also fishing with an unlicensed rod.

Greg Holbrow of Albion Street, Rowhedge, Colchester was found fishing illegally and with unattended rods on 01 May 2013 at Green Lane Farm, Weeley, Essex. He was found asleep and also failed to state his address when asked to by the Fisheries Enforcement Officer.

He failed to enter pleas to Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Tuesday (17 Sep) and was found guilty of three offences in his absence.

Holbrow was fined a total of £500, ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £20.

(1) Section 27(1)(A) SAFFA 1975: in a place where fishing is regulated fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicensed fishing instrument, namely rod and line.

Fined £200, costs £127 and victim surcharge £20

(2) Byelaw 10 of the Environment Agency National Byelaws 2001 made pursuant to Section 210 and Schedule 25 of the Water Resources Act 1991 and contrary to Section 211 of the said Act, left a rod and line with the bait or hook in the water unattended.

Fined £100

(3) Section 35(3) SAFFA 1975 failed to state his address to a water bailiff having power to make such a request.

Fined £200

Aaron Pryor or Station Road, Cuffley, Potters Bar was found fishing illegally and failed to state his name and address to a water bailiff at Lake John Fishery, Aimes Green on 16 May 2013. In his absence he was fined a total of £74 and was ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £20.

Pryor pleaded guilty to:

(1) Section 27(1)(A) SAFFA 1975: in a place where fishing is regulated fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicensed instrument, namely rod and line.

Fined £37, costs £127 and victim surcharge £20.

(2) Section 35(3) SAFFA 1975 failed to state his address to a water bailiff having power to make such a request.

Fined £37.

Angelo Gouveia of Franklin Avenue, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross was found fishing illegally at Southend Farm Lakes, Essex on 01 May 2013. Gouveia pleaded guilty at the court and was fined £267 and was ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £26.

(1) Section 27(1)(A) SAFFA 1975: fishing for freshwater fish or eels than by means of an unlicensed instrument, namely rod and line.

Fined £267, costs £127 and victim surcharge £26.

(2) Byelaw 10 of the Environment Agency National Byelaws 2001 made pursuant to Section 211(3) Water Resources Act 1991, Schedule 25 paragraph 6(1)(a) left a rod and line with a bait or hook in the water unattended and in a position that immediate physical control could not be exercised over the said rod and line.

No separate penalty

Lesley Robertson, Environmental Crime Team Leader, said: “Leaving fish baited on a hook while the angler sleeps threatens the health and wellbeing of the fish and there are byelaws in place to protect them.

'The byelaw states that anglers should be able to exercise “immediate physical control” over their rods whilst fishing. When anglers are found unable to comply with this it is our duty to take action.”

“Those who avoid fishing legally with a rod licence will also be caught. Anglers should ensure they are properly licensed before going out to enjoy this worthwhile hobby.”

All rod licence income is used by the Environment Agency on work to improve fish stocks and facilities for anglers, therefore anybody who fails to buy a licence is reducing the benefits received by the majority of law abiding anglers.

An annual rod licence for the 2013/14 season remains at 2011 prices, costing £27 for non-migratory trout and char and freshwater (coarse) fish, smelt and eels or £72 for salmon and migratory trout. Concessionary licences, which cost £5, are available to junior anglers (aged 12-16). Anglers under 12 do not require a licence.

Anglers over 65 and anyone with a Blue Badge parking concession or in receipt of Disability Living Allowance also pays the concessionary adult rate of £18 (non-migratory trout and char and freshwater (coarse) fish, smelt and eels) and £48 (salmon and migratory trout).

One to eight-day licences for occasional anglers are also available for £3.75 and £10 (non-migratory trout and char and freshwater fish and eels) or £8 and £23 (salmon and migratory trout).

Licences may be bought from post offices, via the Environment Agency website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fish) or by dialling 0844 800 5386.

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