Maggot Times - January 2003


Headline: Environmental Agency successfully prosecute Barbel Stocker
Date: 22 January 2003


The owner of a popular local coarse fishery has been found guilty of stocking fish into his lakes without consent from the Environment Agency.

Roy O’Malley of Three Oaks Farm, Furzeley Corner, Waterlooville, pleaded guilty by post to the charge and was convicted on January 17 at Portsmouth Magistrates Court. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay £80 costs.

The court heard how Environment Agency Fishery Officers visited Mr O’Malley after seeing a fishing report in a local newspaper. Mr O’Malley admitted to the officers that he had recently put 100 barbel into his fishery, even though he had previously been warned that it was a criminal offence under fisheries legislation to do so without written consent from the Agency.

Following the case, Water Bailiff Dominic Longley said: "The Environment Agency puts a great deal of effort into regulating fish removals and introductions so that the spread of fish disease is reduced and fish are not put into unsuitable habitats.

"In the wild, barbel are exclusively a river species and we only allow them to be put into still waters which are suitable for them to thrive. Had Mr O’Malley applied, he would not have obtained consent to put these fish into Three Oaks, which is small and already heavily stocked.

"The law is crystal clear- before introducing fish to inland waters you must first obtain written consent from the Environment Agency," he added.

  Carp Smugglers in Court
Date: 17 January 2003


Premier Fish Supplies boss Mark Dallas and Lee Coles, both from Essex, were arrested by fisheries inspectors from CEFAS and customs officers last April when they intercepted a haul of 263 carp weighing up to 45lb at the Channel Tunnel. The fish were later found to be carrying a rare and deadly strain of the UK carp killing Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC) disease and were humanely destroyed.

Both men appeared before Folkstone, Kent magistrates last week and pleaded guilty to charges of illegally importing live fish and were committed for sentencing at the Crown Court.

The case is believed to be the biggest of its kind in this country and the men could face up to two years jail.

  Direct Debits for Rod Licences
Date: 10 January 2003


Letters from the EA about licences by Direct Debit will start arriving from Monday this week and anglers have until the February 4 to return the completed mandates.

In 2001/2 a pilot Direct Debit project was launched in the Agency’s Anglian and Midlands regions. More than 26,000 anglers responded - an 11 per cent uptake rate.

Now the Agency is targeting 662,000 holders of full annual and concessionary licences across England and Wales.

The initiative means anglers who sign up for Direct Debit will automatically have a licence sent to them in time for the new season.

In the long term, savings generated by this project will enable the Agency to spend more money on improvements for fisheries and anglers.

Those who completed a Direct Debit mandate in 2002 need take no further action - the Agency will contact them in February to confirm their bank details.

The EA say the usual safeguards associated with Direct Debit, offered through the banking system, will ensure anglers’ interests are protected.

A dedicated helpline has been set up to deal with enquiries. Please call on 01925 542400 - for Direct Debit enquiries only. This will operate from January 6.

Holders of eight day and one day licences are not included in this phase of the project.

  Angler Drowns at Sea
Date: 03 January 2003


A sea angler has died after being swept off a pier into heavy seas.

A combined helicopter and lifeboat rescue failed to save the 45-year-old man, who has not yet been named.

He was fishing in a force six gale from Amble Pier, in Northumberland, at around 2pm yesterday, when a wave swept him over the side.

An inshore lifeboat capsized during a rescue attempt and three crew members later required hospital treatment.

Squadron Leader Andrew Miller, of RAF Boulmer, paid tribute to the lifeboat crew's bravery.

"You have to take your hats off to them, they had a go," he said.

The pilot said a winchman took three attempts to pluck the angler from the water, by which time he was no longer conscious.

Malcolm Pritchard, lifeboat operations manager at Amble, said crew members were injured by large logs which were being thrown about in the seas.

The angler was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital, in Ashington, where he was pronounced dead.


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