A passionate fishery boss has this week taken the radical step of banning all foreigners from fishing his venue in a bid to protect his stocks.
Businessman Tony Booth has seen his Trentside Fishery, in North Lincs, hit hard by Eastern European poachers and has now controversially opted to forbid all non-nationals from angling at his three lakes.
Tony, from Grimsby, has owned the rural complex for five years, and decided to introduce the drastic measure after a string of incidents.
He explained: “I used to let foreigners fish here, but then caught them trying to steal my stock after landing them. I have also nabbed at least 20 different groups blatantly trying to poach the lakes, and have found numerous set lines.
“Once, I came across a load of dead bream and perch which had just been thrown in a bush. As a result, I have decided to ban all foreigners. It is my water, they are my fish and I’ll do what I like. If they don’t like it, tough!”
Tony is a firm believer that many other fishery bosses throughout the country are itching to follow his stance, but feels one key element is stopping them from doing so.
“It is all about money. A lot of fishery owners are too greedy. The rivers get poached because you can’t have someone there permanently, but fish theft issues on commercial waters could be eradicated if bosses forget about their takings and implement the same rule as I have,” he added.
Local anglers have already flung their support behind the popular venue owner, with regular Trentside visitor Kev Wells telling Angling Times: “I completely agree with Tony’s decision. People who are not from this country have been stealing fish and ruining it for everyone else. If this ruling hadn’t been brought in, then things could have got much worse because most Eastern Europeans eat even more carp at Christmas.”
Despite the warm reception from locals, other parties have begun to question the legality of the ban.
A spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission told Angling
Times: “The Race Relations Act applies to anyone providing goods, facilities or services to the public. It is unlawful to be refused a service, or not to be given the same standard of service extended to others, on grounds of race.
“If a member of the public feels they have been discriminated against, they can contact our helpline for advice and assistance.”