Fisheries enforcement

FISHERIES across Suffolk will now be protected by a new team of full-time Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officers, replacing the old system of seasonal part-time bailiffs.

As well as visiting fisheries and carrying out rod licence checks, officers will work closely with police and the angling community to target illegal fishing activities.

Spot checks will still continue and anglers should make sure they have the proper licence before they head out fishing, or they could have their equipment seized, be prosecuted and face a court fine of up to £2,500.

Environmental crime team leader Lesley Robertson said the new posts would ensure a better service for anglers.

“We will be able to respond to reports of potential illegal fishing activities seven days a week,” she said. “I would encourage anybody who sees or knows of any suspicious activities, such as fish being stolen or moved without the necessary consent, to phone our incident hotline 0800 807060.”