Fight to stop fish theft

FISH theft from lakes and rivers in the south-east is on the increase.

Now the Environment Agency has joined forces with the Angling Trust in a bid to tackle the crime.

Sought after fish such as carp can be sold on for big money. One fish farm in the south was selling carp weighting 30 pounds plus for £75 a pound, meaning a 35lb carp sells for £2.625.

Now anglers are being asked to act as volunteer water bailiffs and keep a close eye on our rivers, lakes and canals.

The Angling Trust and Environment Agency are running a three year pilot in the Environment Agency South East Region to prove the effectiveness of well trained volunteers in acting as a back up to full time Environment Agency bailiffs in their difficult task of policing waters.

The Angling Trust is initially looking for twelve volunteers in each of the four areas within Environment Agency South East, forty-eight in total, to work as part of the Angling Trust Team.

Volunteers will be subject to a CRB check and will be expected to undergo a training course. They will then work in conjunction with the Environment Agency Team of Enforcement Officers delivering information on illegal activity.

After the first year some volunteers will be offered the opportunity to train for a Management Restricted Environment Agency Bailiff Warrant so that they can extend their duties into licence checking and byelaw offences and take an active role working alongside operational Agency bailiffs in the field.

Volunteers will be expected to offer an average of four hours a week. They will need to be reasonably fit and able to demonstrate good interpersonal skills, show the ability to write clear and concise reports, keep accurate notebook records and timesheets and have an intimate knowledge of the waters in their area as well as having a full driving licence and being able to swim.

For an application pack contact the Angling Trust on 0844 7700616 or email