More than 100 anglers quizzed during crackdown on illegal fishing in Derbyshire

More than 100 anglers were questioned during a crackdown on illegal fishing in Derbyshire - but only 14 notices were handed out.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 11:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 1:51 pm
Officers during the crackdown on illegal fishing in Derbyshire

The Environment Agency’s East Midlands Area enforcement team conducted the operation against illegal fishing on Sunday, June 27, in conjunction with the Midlands Wildlife Crime Group, including officers from the Derbyshire police.

In total, some 166 spot checks were carried out with 14 notices being issued for illegal angling.

An illegal trap and three illegal nets were also seized in the operation, while five people were reported for lighting a large barbecue.

Lee Watts, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for the Environment Agency’s East Midlands Area, said: “We take illegal fishing seriously.

“Anyone committing offences can expect to be prosecuted and face a substantial fine.

“It’s through partnership working like this that we can send a clear message to those who break the law.

“Not only does illegal fishing damage the sport it also poses a serious risk of spreading fish diseases and invasive species.

“The irresponsible and illegal actions of a few can have widespread consequences for fisheries.”

Kevin Pearson, Angling Trust Fisheries Enforcement Support Service Regional Enforcement Manager, said: “This was a perfect example of partnership working in action – and what can be achieved by everyone working together.

“As always, we are most grateful to our volunteers for so public-spiritedly giving up their time to help protect fish and fisheries. We look forward to more of these operations.”

Volunteer bailiffs from the Angling Trust also supported the operation, as well as police from Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

If you suspect illegal fishing to be taking place please report the matter to our hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Anyone fishing illegally can expect to be prosecuted and to face a fine of up to £2,500.

Those who use illegal methods face a prison sentence of potentially two years and a fine of up to £50,000 for byelaw offences.

Money raised from rod licence sales is reinvested in the environment, including a whole range of projects to improve facilities for anglers, protect stocks, plus fish restocking, invasive species eradication.

The money is also used to work with partners to encourage people to take-up fishing.

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