Fines top £50,000 for illegal fishing in the UK

by Aidan Bordiuk |
Published on

Fishing without a rod licence in UK freshwater lakes and rivers is a criminal offence, and this year alone fines have reached £54,343 in the first three months, from January to March, with the average fine amounting to £380. The data released by the Environment Agency (EA) reveals a rise in offences compared to 2023.

This increase can be attributed to more checks by Environment Fishery Enforcement Officers, as well as additional intelligence and support from Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiffs, who are now seeing the benefits of collaborative efforts to clamp down on illegal fishing and practices.

While there is often criticism that not enough is being done to prevent illegal fishing, it appears that the EA and Angling Trust are striving to improve, making the best use of the resources currently available to them. The Angling Trust Enforcement work is fully funded by rod licence income delivered in partnership with the Environment Agency and works to prevent all forms of illegal activity on UK waters.

The funds raised from licence sales are allocated to improving fish stocks and promoting angling, including various programs delivered by the Angling Trust itself.

For more information on purchasing a rod licence, you can buy one here:

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer bailiff, you can apply here:"


Throughout the year, Environment Agency Officers are on the lookout for illegal fishing practices.

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