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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

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Angler fined for illegally catching eels in South Cumbria

AN ANGLER has been fined for illegally catching eels in a South Cumbrian river.

Miroslaw Mierzwa pleaded guilty to removing eels by rod and line from the River Eea, in Grange.

Appearing at South Lakeland Magistrates' Court on January 15, the 49-year-old had his fishing tackle confiscated and was fined £140 and ordered to pay £127 court costs.

Mierzwa, of Station Road, Kirkham, was seen by Environment Agency bailiff fishing with one rod and line from the left bank of the River Eea.

After being approached, Mierzwa produced a valid fishing licence and explained he was fishing for eels. The bailiff noted the defendant had a plastic box with him, which contained three dead adult eels.

Environment Agency byelaws state that it is an offence to remove eels from any water with rod or line. This is to protect the number of eels, with the number of young eels returning to European rivers having fallen by more than 95 per cent and continuing to decrease.

Environment Agency lead investigating officer, David Hall, said: “This prosecution sends out a clear message that we will take action to uphold bylaws that protect species such as eels.

“The presence of a protected species such as eels in our rivers and lakes enhances the biodiversity in our lakes and rivers.”

To find out more about the Environment Agency’s guidelines on eel fishing, visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/119393.aspx.

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