Claims that maverick fishery owner Steve Couch is to rewrite the history books by stocking 70lb carp from France have been rubbished by the agency responsible for regulating the importation of live fish.
Last week we revealed how Steve, proprietor of Somerset big-carp venue Pavyotts Mill, was on the brink of importing a batch of huge fish, each of which would blitz the present UK record of 67lb 14oz.
However, officials from the Government’s Fish Health Inspectorate soon swooped on the popular fishery to block the move.
“We’ve now identified all the individuals involved in the proposed importation network, and these people have since been visited and advised by senior Inspectors from the FHI. They now know exactly where they stand,” said the FHI’s Enforcement and Investigations Officer Stuart Katon.
“I visited the fishery owner, Steve Couch, in person and told him in no uncertain terms how, at present, it is illegal to import carp from France, irrespective of what any French supplier or potential UK importer may claim. He’s still hopeful of stocking huge fish, and if he wants to spend his money making a legal challenge, that’s up to him,” he added.
When contacted by Angling Times, Steve Couch revealed that, while his ambitious stocking plans had been put on hold for the time being, they were certainly not dead in the water.
“We have fish to over 50lb already, and we definitely still have plans to take the fishery to the next level. We want to continue providing big fish for our customers because they are over the moon with what we have created here. I’ve already got people booked in from Ireland for sessions next year!
“I wouldn’t stock any fish illegally, and I fully intend to play things by the book. But I will say this ¬ the dream isn’t over yet. Watch this space.”