FENLAND: Four appear in the dock after going fishing without a valid licence
FOUR anglers who went fishing on Fenland rivers without a valid rod licence have appeared in court. They were fined a total of �170 with �220 costs by Ely Magistrates Court for fishing without a valid rod licence. Darren Ashley of Coronation Road, Bishop
FOUR anglers who went fishing on Fenland rivers without a valid rod licence have appeared in court.
They were fined a total of �170 with �220 costs by Ely Magistrates' Court for fishing without a valid rod licence.
Darren Ashley of Coronation Road, Bishops Stortford, and Grant Brown, of Benhooks Place, Bishops Stortford, were both fined �35 with �35 costs for fishing illegally at Willington.
Jamie Martin of St Johns Road, Ely, admitted fishing without a licence and failing to give his name to a water bailiff and was fined a total of �100 with �75 costs.
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Ian Ballard of Plains Lane, Littleport, was given a conditional discharge but made to pay �75 costs for fishing without a licence.
All the defendants were prosecuted for fishing for freshwater fish by means of an unlicensed fishing instrument, namely a rod and line, contrary to Section 27(a) Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975
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An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Rod licences expire on March 31 each year, so it is very important all anglers ensure they have a valid licence before heading out to fish, or they too could be caught and fined."
For 2009/2010 a full season coarse and trout fishing licence costs just �26 and a salmon and sea trout licence costs �70. There is also a range of concessionary, junior, eight-day and one day licences. The almost three million people who receive Disability Living Allowance in England and Wales are eligible for a half price fishing licence.
Fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish and eels in England and Wales requires a licence from the Environment Agency. Failure to have a licence is an offence. Those caught fishing illegally face tough penalties, including fines of up to �2,500 and a ban from fishing.
The spokesman added: "Rod licence fees are essential in improving and maintaining fisheries, which is why Environment Agency enforcement officers are out there checking for those who try to cheat the system.
"The protection of vulnerable fish stocks and increasing fishing participation are among the Environment Agency's key environmental objectives. The money raised through rod licence sales is invested directly in fisheries work that benefits all anglers."
FOOTNOTE: You can buy a licence from the Post Office or over the phone (0870 1662662) or on-line at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence any time, day or night.