THIRTEEN anglers including a man from Droitwich have been fined for fishing without a licence after a clampdown by enforcement officers. 

Fishing without a licence has cost 13 anglers from Droitwich,  Birmingham and Walsall a total penalty of £4,286, all for the sake of a £33 a year fee.

The 13 from Droitwich, Birmingham and Walsall were summoned to appear at Northampton Magistrates Court on Monday, December 18.

All were found guilty of fishing without a licence in cases brought by the Environment Agency with an annual fishing licence costing around £33.

Darren Hawkins, 31, from Hipkiss Gardens, Droitwich was proved guilty in absence of fishing without a licence at Herriotts Pool, Droitwich on July 20 last year.

He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £345, including a fine of £150, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £60.

Following the verdicts, a spokesperson at the Environment Agency, said:   “We hope the penalties that these illegal anglers have received will act as a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of breaking the laws and byelaws we have in place across England.

“Fishing illegally can incur a fine of up to £2,500 and offenders can also have their fishing equipment seized. We inspect rod licences 24/7, seven days a week to check on cases of illegal fishing and for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.

“Illegal fishing undermines the Environment Agency’s efforts to protect fish stocks and make fishing sustainable.  Money raised from fishing licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries for the benefit of legal anglers.”

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Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence to fish. A 1-day licence costs from just £6.60, and an annual licence costs from £33 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13 - 16-year-olds. Licences are available from or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Licences are available from or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

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 807060 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.