Our first meeting of 2016 will be on Tuesday 12th January our guest speaker will be a slight step change from the normal, but hopefully something that will be even more beneficial for our quarry and sport in general.
Our guest speaker will be Gary Lawless. Gary is one of the six former Police Officers appointed by the Angling Trust to help in the fight against Fisheries Crime.
Gary and the National team are charged with raising awareness that poaching and fish theft is a crime, advising anglers on the law and working with the EA, police and other relevant parties. One crucial area will be to ensure that evidence is preserved & correctly collected with convictions sought from the Courts.
The Team of six are entirely funded by the EA but are part of the Angling Trusts new Fisheries Enforcement Support Service.
That is where we can help by being the eyes & ears on the ground!
As an example, did you know that if you come across a net or a set line and you release the fish and then throw the net back in, even if only in the margins, you are actually committing an offence! Whilst the understandable reaction is to remove the net or set line, by doing so you are destroying evidence and potentially ruining the chances of a conviction!
Remember that the police are there to deal with criminal matters, such as fishing without permission (Schedule 1, Theft Act 1968) and theft of fish (from enclosed waters). Dial 101 and let them know what you have witnessed.
The Environment Agency (EA) is the statutorily empowered lead on fisheries enforcement. Please report all other matters concerning fisheries offences to the EA on 0800 80 70 60. Always ask for a reference number and request feedback in all cases.
Gary himself served 31 years in the Police force, achieving the rank of Inspector. He has been awarded numerous commendations including one for the Harrods Bombing incident.
Needless to say, Gary is also an avid angler!
If you can make it, the night is guaranteed to be a very informative one!
For further information click on the link in my sig.