Thirty three cases of fishing without a valid rod licence were brought in front of the courts by the Environment Agency between August and October in the North East, resulting in Â£3,285 in fines and costs.
â€œFishing 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 Â£2,500 and a ban from fishing. This time around the courts fined the illegal anglers a total of Â£1,115 and charged them an additional Â£2,170 in costs,â€ explained Environment Agency fisheries technical specialist Philip Rippon.
â€œThe 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; some Â£19m, is invested directly in fisheries work that benefits all anglers.
â€œSome anglers believe a licence is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. This is not the case. All rod licences expire on March 31.â€
Buying a licence couldn't be easier â€“ there are around 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets which sell them direct; and for a small additional charge they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or from our web site â€“ www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence any time, day or night.