Crackdown on fish poaching in Wales nets 139 arrests

Salmon Illegal fishing on Wales' rivers has 'far-reaching consequences,' says Natural Resources Wales

Related Stories

A crackdown on fish poaching across Wales has seen 139 people prosecuted in the first four months of the year, says Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

The legal action has seen those involved fined £18,000 in total.

On Tuesday two men were the latest arrests for illegal fishing, after being found on a dinghy with a net on the River Usk in Monmouthshire.

But officials say the issue is a problem across Wales, and threatens an angling industry worth £150m a year.

Since the start of the year, individuals have been caught fishing illegally or poaching from the Loughor estuary in west Wales to the Menai Strait in Gwynedd and the River Dee in Flintshire.

NRW said its biggest concern was "foul hooking", which involves dragging hooks through the water at high speed in an attempt to impale fish.

Tourism 'draw'

This often leaves more fish damaged and dying in the river than are brought to shore, a spokesperson said.

The fish most threatened are wild salmon and sea trout.

The spokesperson said: "Illegal fishing has far-reaching consequences as angling is worth more than £150m to the Welsh economy.

"Illegal anglers can damage the whole ecology of a river as well as impacting on angling as a sport.

"Angling helps protect the environment and is a big draw for tourism.

"It's important that we continue to crack down on illegal fishing activity so that it remains sustainable for licensed fisherman."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BeesSweet medicine

    Why are sick bees being prescribed honey? BBC Earth investigates

Programmes

  • The smartphone that answers backClick Watch

    Smartphones get smarter – the prototypes that talk and say ouch when you drop them

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.