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Agency widens net in bid to catch river poachers
10:30am Monday 8th October 2012 in Romsey
THE Environment Agency has launched a crackdown on poaching and illegal angling in Hampshire’s rivers.
Specialist fisheries enforcement officers have increased patrols and surveillance at known poaching hotspots.
The agency said in the past few months it has received numerous reports of illegal fishing and evidence of an increase in poaching.
Recent enforcement activity has included seizing illegal fishing equipment, such as a spear gun and a snatch – a weighted hook which is used to deliberately impale fish.
Tim Sykes of the Environment Agency said: “Recently, we have received increasing reports from responsible anglers of unscrupulous individuals using illegal and dangerous equipment to catch fish.
“These methods have the potential to harm wildlife, seriously damage fish stocks and our natural heritage and ruin the sport for future generations.”
It wants anglers and the public to report anything suspicious.
Anyone who thinks they have seen any illegal fishing should phone the Environment Agency’s 24-hour hotline, on 0800 807060, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.