Sturgeon: Celtic Lakes Resort owner fined over licence
The owner of a fishing holiday resort has been found guilty of keeping sturgeon without a licence.
John Carney said he kept the fish, which is known for its caviar, as pets.
But Aberystwyth magistrates heard that the fish were found at the Celtic Lakes Resort in Ceredigion in a commercial lake, which is illegal with no licence.
Carney, from near Lampeter, was fined £500, ordered to pay £1,400 court costs and £1,400 towards the investigation. He had denied the charge.
The court declined to make an order for the destruction and forfeit of the fish.
The Celtic Lakes Resort is based in the hamlet of Creuddyn Bridge, near Lampeter.
Speaking on BBC Radio Wales after the court case Huw Evans, an environmental crime officer with Environment Agency Wales, said an investigation had been started after a lot of "circumstantial evidence and a magazine article" pointed to sturgeon being in the lake.
"A licence is needed to keep non-native fish and you wouldn't get a licence to keep a sturgeon in... commercial fisheries such as this," he said.
"The concerns are that these fish are non-native, they could escape or they could release diseases or parasites into the environment which could affect not only native sturgeon but could affect other fish."
Mr Evans added there was particular concern that non-native fish could escape and compete with a native fish such as salmon and sea trout.