'There are no excuses for illegal fishing' - says the Environment Agency, as the debate over problems in South Holland continues
‘It doesn’t matter who you are – anyone caught breaking the law by fishing illegally will face the consequences,’ - that is the message from the Environment Agency as issues continue.
It comes after a reader, who did not want to be named, got in touch about her experiences when she came across two people she believed were fishing illegally.
She said: “Regarding your article in the Lincs Free Press,” (our sister paper) “with the Environment Agency asking people to report illegal fishing directly to them, my husband and I (both retired) reported to them directly two illegal fishermen near the bridges by the Castle Sports Centre.
“They were obviously fishing illegally as they had no proper kit and only a carrier bag.
“We were asked by the Agency if we had asked them if they had a fishing licence.
“Not wishing to put ourselves in unknown danger, of course we hadn’t...”
The incident happened two months ago, she said, and in response, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency (EA) replied: “We absolutely take all reports of illegal activity seriously and every one helps inform our fisheries enforcement work.
“When we receive a report, our staff aim to get as much detail as possible so we have accurate, informative intel our enforcement teams can act on, and we would never ask a member of the public to put themselves at risk by approaching someone who might be breaking the law.
“The single most important way people can help us tackle illegal fishing is to pick up the phone and report it to our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”
It has been suggested by some readers that there may be cultural confusion over the fishing laws.
But the EA added: “It doesn’t matter who you are – anyone caught breaking the law by fishing illegally will face the consequences, including a hefty fine and a criminal record.”