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Walsall anglers fined hundreds for fishing without a licence

Two Walsall anglers have landed a bill of £443 each after fishing without a licence.

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Enforcement officer

Dean Edwards, 54, of Signal Grove, in Bloxwich, was proved guilty in his absence of fishing without a licence at Issac Walton Pool, off Stafford Road, in the town on August 31 last year.

Nicholas Smith, 37, of Foster Street, in Blakenall, was proved guilty in his absence of the same offence at Chorley Springs Fisheries, off Tithe Barn Lane, in Burntwood, on September 10. Both were ordered to pay a total of £443, including a fine of £220, £135 costs and an £88 victim surcharge.

The cases were among six brought by the Environment Agency at Northampton Magistrates Court.

Nichola Tomlinson, fisheries enforcement team leader at the Environment Agency, said: "We hope the penalties received by these illegal anglers will act as a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of breaking the laws and byelaws we have in place across England.

"The cases show how seriously the courts take these offences and the anglers have been rightly punished for the illegal fishing they undertook last year. Fishing illegally can incur a fine of up to £2,500 and offenders can also have their fishing equipment seized.

"llegal 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 anglers and, for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute."

Witnesses with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the incident hotline on 0800 807060 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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