A 47-year old man from Ruddington, Nottingham, has been fined more than £500 for fishing without a licence at the Grantham canal, Nottingham, on 26 September 2018.
The case was brought to Luton Magistrates Court by the Environment Agency on 28 March 2019 where Christopher Hepworth Bourne pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a total penalty of £523.47. An annual fishing licence would have cost him just £30.
The penalty includes a fine of £360, costs of £127.47 and a victim surcharge of £36 after Hepworth Bourne was found in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975).
Following the verdict, Peter Haslock, East Midlands Enforcement Team Leader for the Environment Agency, said:
This case shows how seriously the courts take these offences and we hope it will act as a deterrent to any angler who is thinking of fishing without a licence.
We would also like to remind anglers who wish to buy their licence online of the importance of buying it directly from GOV.UK as they will receive a reference number allowing them to go fishing on the same day.
Customers who use third-party sites may be charged more and might not get added to the official database as quickly.
All of the money raised from fishing licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, benefitting anglers and, for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.
Every year across the country, thousands of anglers are prosecuted for not having a fishing licence. As well as cheating other anglers, fishing illegally can carry a hefty penalty. Getting caught without a licence could land a fine of up to £2,500.
Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. A 1-day licence costs from just £6 and an annual licence costs from just £30 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13- to 16-year-olds. Licences are available from GOV.UK or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively you can purchase a licence from your local Post Office branch.
The Environment Agency carries out enforcement work all year round and is supported by partners including the police and the Angling Trust. Fisheries enforcement work is intelligence-led, targeting known hot-spots and where illegal fishing is reported.
Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency Incident Hotline 24/7 on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.