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Environment Agency News Release

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no fishing

Net closes on illegal Somerset angler

Somerset angler caught hook, line and sinker fishing without a licence and providing false information to Environment Agency officers.

A man from Somerset has been prosecuted for illegally fishing at Viaduct Fishery, Somerton, earlier this year.

At Swindon Magistrates' Court the angler, a slippery customer, pleaded guilty to both fishing without a rod licence and to giving false details when challenged by Environment Agency Water Bailiffs (Who knew? ... Ed).

Ironically, the bailiffs knew there was something fishy about the information our man had given when the false name and address he provided just so happened to be those of someone the bailiffs knew.

The angler was ordered to pay a total penalty of £751 (£220 for each offence, £135 in costs and a £176 victim surcharge).

Richard Dearnley, Environment Agency Water Bailiff, said:

"We are pleased with another successful prosecution for unlicensed fishing and hope the penalty received will deter others planning to fish illegally. The Environment Agency and courts take these offences very seriously.

"Illegal fishing undermines our efforts to ensure fish are protected and fishing is sustainable, and enforcement officers, like myself, are on patrol around the clock to combat this crime.

"Those wishing to fish in England and Wales must purchase a fishing licence. The money raised through rod licence sales is reinvested into our fisheries; to enhance and protect them for the benefit of both fish and anglers.

"Additionally, as in this case, any attempts to deceive or obstruct Environment Agency officers will result in additional charges."

Licences can be purchased online or by phone, more information can be found on the fishing licences webpage so no need to make a rod for your own back!

Anyone with information about illegal fishing can report this to the 24/7 Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 807060, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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