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Action to Tackle Poaching

Oct 29, 2011

Category: General
Posted by: Kathryn

We recently reported that a stretch of the Chess has been systematically poached of its fish population. We therefore welcome the Angling Trust's Seven Point Plan to tackle poaching and fish theft in English waters.

The plan includes funding and promotion of the Crimestoppers initiative, which provides a confidential, freephone number for anglers, clubs and fisheries to report illegal fishing activity, thefts and illegal fish movements. The number is 0800 555111. Fish Legal, the Angling Trust's legal arm has collaborated with the National Wildlife Crime Unit to raise awareness of the offence of poaching within regional police forces.

The Trust is working with the Environment Agency to develop a pilot scheme to recruit volunteers from angling clubs to work alongside warranted officers from the EA to provide intelligence and check rod licences. The Trust is also developing a Poacher Watch web site for anglers to report poaching.

The Angling Trust offers the following advice to any member of the public who witnesses illegal fishing, poaching or fish theft:

  • Do not approach the offenders yourself
  • Take a picture or video of the activity if you can do so without being seen
  • Make a note of the number plate of any vehicles involved if you can do so without being seen
  • Always report all poaching incidents to the Police and keep a record of what you report
  • If you suspect poaching, also contact the Environment Agency on 0800 807060 and write down their incident number. You should also report other offences including fishing without a rod licence, illegal fishing methods, breaches of local byelaws and damage to spawning grounds
  • You can contact Crimestoppers confidentially about fish thefts and illegal fish transfers on 0800 555111
  • If the incident is on a private fishery, please also contact the owners or fishng club to inform them and phone the Police