3:37 PM April 8, 2022
A man has been fined more than £ 300 for fishing illegally at a west Norfolk caravan park.
Paul Smart, of Acred Close, Little Downham, was fined £ 333 after he was caught fishing without a license on August 30, 2021 at Lakeside Caravan Park in Denver, Norfolk.
Smart pleaded guilty at Folkstone Magistrates Court where the 52-year-old was fined and had a £ 34 victim surcharge and £ 60 worth of costs imposed on him.
At the end of the trial he owed a total of £ 427, almost 10 times more than the current price of a fishing license which costs £ 45.
Smart offered no mitigation for the incident.
The Environment Agency’s fisheries team leader, Ian Hirst, said: “This case shows we pursue offenders through the courts and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where anglers break rules.
“Anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution and a fine of up to £ 2,500. All anglers need a valid Environment Agency fishing license.
“The money raised through the sales of fishing licenses is re-invested and enables us to improve all fisheries, including rivers, for anglers.
“Our fisheries enforcement officers routinely undertake license checks and we urge anyone with information about illegal fishing to contact us on 0800 807060.”
Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a license.
A one-day license costs £ 6 and an annual license costs £ 30 for the most basic cover, junior licenses are free for 13 to 16-year-olds.
Licenses run 365 days from the day of purchase offering 12 months of fishing.
To buy a fishing license call the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386, or alternatively purchase a license from the Post Office.
Anyone with information about illegal fishing activity can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.