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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Illegal fishing by gangs and migrants ‘must be tackled’

Illegal fishing by gangs and migrants ‘must be tackled’

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Poaching of fish such as carp has been on the rise, according to anglers

The issue of poaching by criminal gangs and by Eastern European migrants fishing for food needs to be tackled by police, an ex-detective has said.

Former policeman Paul Thomas has been appointed as regional enforcer in Cambridgeshire by the Angling Trust to help crackdown on poaching.

He said in Cambridgeshire there were particular concerns with migrant anglers from Eastern Europe.

County police said they worked with the Environment Agency to tackle poaching.

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Cambridgeshire Police said it worked with the Environment Agency to tackle poaching

Mr Thomas said: “Poaching is most definitely a serious issue, especially in Fenland and Cambridgeshire.

“There is a large population of migrant anglers who came into the country from Eastern Europe for whom fishing for food is part of their culture.

“But there is also a criminal element and there is the big issue that there must be a black market for them to sell on to. Tackling this must be a priority by the police and the Environment Agency.”

Mr Thomas said his role in Cambridgeshire was to co-ordinate the reporting of poaching and help lawful anglers making reports to the police.

Cambridgeshire Police said: “We are working to combat the issue of fish poaching and there have been a number of prosecutions for both offences this year.

“The Environment Agency lead on prosecutions in relation to people fishing without licences, but we always check for this offence when investigating poaching.”

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