Warnings after unlicensed angler ordered to pay £600

The Angling Enforcement team in action.
The Angling Enforcement team in action.

A man has been ordered to pay more than £600 after fishing without a licence, sparking warnings from the Environment Agency about the importance of having one.

Aivis Putnins, 32, of St Bedes Drive, Boston, was proved guilty in his absence at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on December 21, 2017.

The court was told that the defendant was found to be using unlicensed fishing instruments on the River Witham, Boston, on 20 August 2017, in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975).

Putnins was ordered to pay a fine of £440, costs of £171, and a victim surcharge of £44.

Following the verdict, Steve Powell, Enforcement Team manager for the Environment Agency, said: “It’s important that all anglers understand how seriously the courts take these offences and we hope it will act as a deterrent for any angler thinking of fishing without a licence.

“All the money raised from licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, benefitting anglers. Those cheating the system will be prosecuted.”

Every year across the country, thousands of anglers are prosecuted by the Environment Agency for not having a fishing licence. The agency and its partners work to catch illegal anglers in the act.

As well as swindling other anglers, fishing illegally can harm wildlife and carries a hefty penalty. Getting caught without a licence could land you with a fine of up to £2,500.

Any angler aged 12 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence.

An annual licence costs from just £30 (concessions available) and is available from gov.uk or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.