Fenland angler lands a hefty fine after being caught with five live carp in his car

AN angler has been fined a total of �250 for illegally removing fish from a fishery and fishing without a rod licence.

Mark Whisker of Wisbech admitted the offences and King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court ordered him to also pay �127 costs and a victim surcharge of �15.

The court heard that a new byelaw, prohibiting the removal of stock from fisheries without the written permission of the owner, came into force on 1 June 2010.

Just two days after this, Whisker’s car was stopped by police officers working in partnership with Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers. A search of his vehicle revealed five live carp, which Whisker had taken from the fishery he had just left, Townsend Lakes Fishery, Wisbech.

Environment Agency fisheries specialist Roger Handford said: “The rod and line removal byelaw was introduced this year to deal with the problem of fish being taken from fisheries against the wishes of the owner.

“This causes a loss of sport for other anglers and is a financial burden on fishery owners. If the stolen fish are then illegally stocked elsewhere it may compromise the health status of the receiving water.

“We work in partnership with the police and other agencies to deal with illegal fishing and will not hesitate to prosecute those caught breaking the law”.

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Whisker pleaded guilty by post to:

1) On the 3rd day of June 2010 at Townsend Fishery, Upwell in a place where fishing is regulated fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicensed fishing instrument, namely rod and line, contrary to Section 27(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975. Fined �125

2) On the 3rd day of June 2010 at Townsend Fishery, Upwell Removed freshwater fish by rod and line from a stillwater or canal without the permission of the owner or occupier of the fishery contrary to Byelaw 3(ii) of the Environment Agency National Byelaws which came in to force on 1 June 2010 made pursuant to section 210 and Schedule 25 of the Water Resources Act 1991 and contrary to Section 211 of the said Act. Fined �125

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