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Clamp down on illegal fishing in Cumbria

An angler fishing. Credit: PA

The Environment Agency says it carried out more than 30 patrols to catch people fishing illegally in Cumbria and Lancashire over the May Bank Holiday weekends.

It's a particularly bad time, because May falls within the coarse fishing 'close season', when coarse angling is suspended on rivers, streams, and specified canals and stillwaters to protect spawning fish.

During the two Bank Holiday weekends, Agency staff carried out 61 visits to waters across Cumbria and Lancashire, served more than 62 report forms for illegal fishing, and checked more than 628 anglers for rod licences.

Our enforcement teams have been in out in force – particularly over the last couple of bank holidays – and will continue to be over the coming months.

The number of anglers caught red-handed is testament to how seriously we take illegal fishing but worryingly it shows a blatant disregard for the law and the health of fisheries.

People who don’t buy a licence are not only cheating other anglers and the future of the sport but running the risk of criminal conviction and a fine. There is no excuse – it costs just £27 for a whole year and you can buy it from the Post Office website.”

– Sarah Chare, Environment Agency head of fisheries

Haaf net fishing threatened by new quotas

Credit: ITV Border

New tougher quotas for salmon catches could mean an end to over a thousand years of Haaf net fishing on the English side of the Solway.

From this week, fisherman are only allowed to catch three salmon throughout the whole season.

The Environment Agency says this quota is needed to protect stocks.

But fishermen say it's threatening their way of life.

I think this could be the final blow. And what I would like to do is have a meeting with the Environment Agency and work out a more balanced solution which would ensure our future and the future of the fish. Because I think we're almost becoming as endangered as the salmon."

– Mark Graham, Haaf-net fisherman


Concerns raised over traditional fishing in Annan

Credit: ITV Border

A demonstration is to be held outside Annan Town Hall this evening to raise concerns about the future of stake and poke nets on the Solway.

There are talks for the nets to be banned, due to reports of low salmon stocks in the River Eden.

Local fishermen are worried that hundreds of years of traditional fishing methods may be lost.

Scotland's fisheries low on stocks

The fishing industry is key to the prosperity of many of South Scotland's coastal communities. But some fishermen are concerned that stocks are getting low.

They claim the management of inshore waters is under resourced and more action is needed to support the sector.

Kathryn Samson reports from the Borders coastal town of Eyemouth:

MSP's debate Scotland's 'under resourced' fisheries

Fishermen in Scottish waters are struggling Credit: PA

MSPs are debating what steps can be taken to protect and improve Scotland's inshore fisheries.

In communities like Eyemouth in the borders, it's a key industry, and fishermen there are struggling because of low stocks.

The Scottish Government says it's committed to developing the sector, but Fishermen's leaders say the groups set up to manage inshore waters are under resourced, compared to those in England.


Tweed salmon catches up 40%

Figures show that salmon catches in the River Tweed are up 40% on the previous year.

A report by the River Tweed Commission shows that a total of 20,316 salmon were reported caught last year, up from 14,566 in 2012.

Chairman Dougas Dobbie put the increase down to a late run of exceptional catches, due to the autumn rainfall.

The Tweed Commission will go through the report at their AGM at the Cross Keys in Kelso at 9.30am this morning (3rd March).

The meeting is open to the public for the first time.

How hedgehog homes are helping fish stocks

The Environment Agency is revisiting a Cumbrian lake where hedgehog shaped refuges were installed last year to help protect fish stocks.

Bassenthwaite is the first English lake to use the spiky constructions which provide shelter and a safe haven from predators.

A remote control boat will help monitor how well they are working.

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