Anglers urged to get their licence as clampdown continues on illegal fishing in Cambridgeshire

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- Credit: Archant

A clampdown on illegal fishing is taking place in Cambridgeshire.

Environment Agency enforcement teams issued one offence notice for close season offences and 31 offence notices for fishing without a valid rod licence across Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

Officers carried out two rod licence ‘blitzes’ over the May bank holiday weekend and June 20–21, a particularly popular time for anglers.

Over these weekends, seven offence report forms were served for illegal fishing. The maximum fine for fishing without a licence is £2,500.

During the coarse fishing close season (March 15-June 15), coarse angling is suspended on rivers, streams, and specified canals and stillwaters to protect spawning fish.

Ian Hirst, Environment Agency technical fisheries and recreation team leader, said: “Our enforcement teams have been in out in force – particularly over the last couple of bank holidays – and will continue to be over the coming months.

“The number of anglers caught red-handed is testament to how seriously we take illegal fishing but worryingly it shows a blatant disregard for the law and the health of fisheries.

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“People who don’t buy a licence are not only cheating other anglers and the future of the sport but running the risk of criminal conviction and a fine. There is no excuse – it costs just £27 for a whole year and you can buy it from the Post Office website.”

To help crack down on unlicensed fishing the Environment Agency urges anyone to report illegal activity by calling 0800 80 70 60.

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