The only full time salmon fisherman on the river severn says that new regulations risk putting him out of business and destroying a traditional way of life which dates back centuries. Nigel Mott fishes for wild salmon near lydney using putchers, wire cages which the salmon swim into as the tide ebbs.
He's been doing so since the 1970s. But now the Environment Agency, which licences river fishing, has told him that this year he can catch no more than 30 fish. Previously he was allowed to caatch as many as he liked.
Mr Mott says his business cannot survive on such a small catch and so he has decided to try to challenge the decision in the courts. He has deliberately caught 3 more fish than his quota allows, and invited water bailiffs from the agency along to see them. They seized the fish and will now pass their evidence on to the agency's legal team.
Mr Mott says that his form of fishing has minimal impact on salmon in the severn, as his putchers stretch out for just a couple of hundred metres or so into the river. That leaves a mile of open water for the fish to swim past his cages. He says that people have been fishing this sustainable way for generations, but now he and his son are the only ones who do it full time.
He is now waiting to hear if the Environment agency will prosecute him for exceeding his 30 fish limit.
The Environment Agency has issued the following statement: