Poverty blamed for rise in illegal fishing in East Lancashire

FOOD poverty is being blamed for a rise in the number of people illegally poaching fish.

Patrols have been stepped up in response to concerns from anglers and seven offenders were caught in one week.

Fishing enthusiasts believe ‘increasing poverty due to the economy’ may be behind the rise.

Graham Parkes, chairman of the Blackburn and Hyndburn Angling Association, said he had confronted a number of people attempting to steal species such as carp, bream, and trout from waters managed by his group.

He said the problem was particularly bad at waters such as Super Street in Clayton-le-Moors, Calder River, near Whalley Abbey and Dunkirk Ponds, off Whalley Road.

Mr Parkes, 64, said he appreciated that times were tough but said poachers disregarded the money and hard work that members of the association put into managing the fishing zones.

He said: “I know that people are hard up and want to fish so they have something to eat but there are also hardened poachers who seem to be poaching not for this reason too who aren’t helping the problem.

“We have to pay to use these waters and put a lot of time into maintaining them so if people want to fish we want them to respect our work and pay fees through the association because otherwise it isn’t fair and could lead to reduced stocks if people aren’t registering what they catch.”

The association is working closely with the Environment Agency. Poaching is a serious criminal offence which carries a maximum fine of £50,000, whilst fishing without a licence is £2,500.

Steve Powell, fisheries specialist for the Environment Agency in the north west said: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of calls we’ve received about poaching in the Blackburn and Hyndburn area in recent years.

“As a result, we’ve been working in partnership with the local community, Lancashire Police and angling organisations to tackle this issue.

“We’ve held workshops to help local anglers understand the law around poaching and how they can help manage poaching and illegal fishing in this area.

“Healthy rivers depend on balanced populations of fish but poaching threatens the quality of our environment and the numbers of fish in our rivers.”

Anyone who spots poaching should contact the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:51pm Sat 6 Jul 13

chris283 says...

what a load of rubbish i do not think i would eat a fish do not mind catching them but not eating them
what a load of rubbish i do not think i would eat a fish do not mind catching them but not eating them chris283

1:11pm Sat 6 Jul 13

burner says...

Like they say . . . . . give a man a fish and he has a good meal - give a man a fishing rod and he can chop it up and make a fire to cook his fish !
Like they say . . . . . give a man a fish and he has a good meal - give a man a fishing rod and he can chop it up and make a fire to cook his fish ! burner

1:22pm Sat 6 Jul 13

useyourhead says...

if it has protein in it they will eat it, fish, eels, ducks, swans, geese, anything on an allotment is fair game too.
if it has protein in it they will eat it, fish, eels, ducks, swans, geese, anything on an allotment is fair game too. useyourhead

5:57pm Sat 6 Jul 13

frank says...

"Anyone who spots poaching should contact the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060."

i see lots of people fishing when i'm out walking, how do i know if they're poaching?
there's no way i'm going to go up to them and ask.
just because they don't have a brolly and basket doesn't mean they're poaching.
"Anyone who spots poaching should contact the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060." i see lots of people fishing when i'm out walking, how do i know if they're poaching? there's no way i'm going to go up to them and ask. just because they don't have a brolly and basket doesn't mean they're poaching. frank

7:40pm Sat 6 Jul 13

Puck Greenman says...

Policing association waters should be paid for and conducted by the association, not the public. After all; we're excluded, and also...anyone approaching someone to ask if they're properly licensed is taking their life in their hands, these days. That's why they give body armour etc. to bailiffs and send them round in pairs.
And it's not ''caused'' by poverty, it's caused by the general air of not giving a flip that's infesting the whole nation recently - following the example of the ''elite'', eh?
Policing association waters should be paid for and conducted by the association, not the public. After all; we're excluded, and also...anyone approaching someone to ask if they're properly licensed is taking their life in their hands, these days. That's why they give body armour etc. to bailiffs and send them round in pairs. And it's not ''caused'' by poverty, it's caused by the general air of not giving a flip that's infesting the whole nation recently - following the example of the ''elite'', eh? Puck Greenman

10:31am Sun 7 Jul 13

Izanears says...

FOOD poverty is being blamed for a rise in the number of people illegally poaching fish.
What utter rubbish. This is England 2013 not England 1013.
FOOD poverty is being blamed for a rise in the number of people illegally poaching fish. What utter rubbish. This is England 2013 not England 1013. Izanears

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree