Hi-tech plan to combat illegal fishing on River Ouse
Environmental protection officials have unveiled their latest weapons in the battle against illegal fishing on West Norfolk’s waterways.
Regional enforcement officers have been given night vision equipment and high grade digital cameras which they hope will help them to more effectively patrol the River Great Ouse and other watercourses.
The equipment, which cost more than £15,000, has been funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
And Alex Thomson, fisheries enforcement officer for the Environment Agency in East Anglia, said: “The new kit will enhance our detection and surveillance capabilities.
“Combined with our specialist training and specific powers, the technology will allow us to cover more ground, get better evidence, and work more effectively into and through the hours of darkness.
“This is invaluable in detecting and preventing illegal poaching activities, and protecting our valuable coarse fish and eel stocks.”
Fisheries officers have the power to arrest and detain, enter lands, stop and search, seize boats, vessels, vehicles and instruments and require the production of fishing licences.
Those caught can be given a range of punishments, including fines of up to £2,500.
To report illegal angling activity, call the 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060.