Maggot Times - December 2001















- A record fine and costs totalling almost 30,000, are to be paid by a wholesaler of live fish caught smuggling carp into the UK. Pleading guilty to five offences under fish health and import legislation, defendant Andrew Green of Sussex and Surrey-based Star Fisheries, admitted: 
Illegally importing live koi carp and goldfish 
Keeping grass carp and sturgeon without a licence 
Failing to comply with the conditions of his fish-keeping licence 

Lewes Magistrates Court heard how CEFAS fish health inspectors had tracked and intercepted an Italian lorry entering Mr Green's premises, after dark, in May 2001. Found to hold a consignment of mixed ornamental fish, including the much-prized koi carp, there were no accompanying healthcheck documents. The deadly fish virus 'spring viraemia of carp' (SVC) is widespread in Italy and by bringing stock into the UK having bypassed the necessary checks, Mr Green risked spreading disease among clean British stocks. 
Welcoming the court's decision, Fisheries Minister Elliot Morley said: 
"This record fine shows how seriously the court regards smuggling of live fish." 
"This illicit and ecologically dangerous black market trade must be stamped out. We must protect legitimate trade in live fish and ensure the survival of the UK's valuable and diverse wild fish species." 
"We intend to come down hard on those who are prepared to flout the law." 

The court victory comes soon after the launch of the Government's new anti-smuggling database. The Live Fish Movements computer database operated at CEFAS, Weymouth enables scientific experts to protect the health of our wild fish stocks by monitoring and checking commercial fish movements. 



- Seven anglers were fined a total of 470 at Hereford Magistrates' Court on Monday for fishing without a licence, contrary to the Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Act, 1975. In addition, each man was ordered to pay 55 towards the costs of the Environment Agency which brought the prosecutions. Five of the men had their rods and reels forfeited to the Agency. 
Christopher Frederick Birch of Milgreen Avenue, Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent; Kevin Clarke of Emlyn Avenue, Whitecross, Hereford; Ivor James of Cherry Brook Close, Hope-under-Dinmore, Leominster; Stuart Maddox of Brook Mead, Ross-on-Wye; Stephen Jason Smith of Violet Walk, Rogerstone and Trevor Douglas Stanley, of Emlyn Avenue, Whitecross, Hereford were all fined 70. Paul Burns of Ridgeway Crescent, Whitchurch, Ross-on-Wye was fined 50. The court forfeited the tackle of Burns, Clarke, James, Maddox and Stanley. 
Speaking after the hearing, an Agency spokesperson said: A licence is required to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish and eels in all inland waters in England & Wales and it costs just 20 for a full annual licence. There are eight-day and daily licences also available at all post offices. The Agency will continue to target and prosecute those individuals who choose to ignore the requirements for a valid licence when fishing. 

- A fax-poll carried out from 2-14 August 2001 by London-based fax pollsters 21st Century Faxes asked respondents "Should Angling be banned". The result, which was copied to the Countryside Alliance, the National Federation of Anglers and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) polled 72% support for angling's continuation

- The Watson Bill: an Anglers Perspective 
by the Countryside Alliance's Director of Angling, Charles Jardine

The relevance of the Watson Bill to anglers will be seen as negligible to most, not at all to many, and a threat to some.
So why should we worry at all? Angling, that cornerstone of Scottish rural - and urban - life, has endured over centuries; it continues to entice newcomers and visitors from all walks of life and justifiably, can be seen as the great leveller - a true sport for all.
Yet there is a queasy feeling about an ostensibly urban government pressing their mind, political wills and whims, on a rural pursuit; one that possibly they do not either participate in or have scant knowledge of. Then, drawing a huge red ruled line under it, confining the pursuit to history and the participants to a potential criminal record if they choose to continue. 
Is it conceivable? Could it possibly be that we anglers would be next?
To read more, Click Here




- The Greater Manchester Police are putting out a warning to all anglers in the Rhodes Lodges area to be vigilant after a spate of assaults, muggings and thefts.
This year there have been 24 incidents regarding victims being beaten for no apparent reason and the police are urging all anglers in the area not to fish alone and to keep all valuables hidden from view. 

-A crisis meeting was called to discover what is wrong with the River Severn after many anglers have found the decline in the fishing over the past season. Representatives from the EA, Birmingham AA, and the Barbel Society joined forces with match and pleasure anglers to discuss the problems with the river.
After hours of debate a new body was formed called the Severn Valley Anglers with the aim to inform the EA about the possible reasons for the decline in quality fishing on britains longest river.
The EA explained how the rivers defence system worked and told the full-house that the Severn was indeed a food-rich water, and yet agreed that there is a need to continue to monitor the water and gain more information. The new group will hopefully be able to provide that information.


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