Pressure mounts on licence cheats
A SCHEME aimed at helping to catch rod licence dodgers and poachers is set to double in size in the coming months after it was inundated with new applications.
Environment Agency officials continue to struggle with the mammoth task of policing fisheries, but their efforts have been given a boost thanks to the expansion of the Voluntary Bailiff Service.
First piloted in the South East, the project was created to help increase the number of patrols on the bank. Those involved are given professional training to help combat angling crime.
Now, following a successful trial, the VBS has been given the go-ahead to be rolled out nationwide. And Angling Trust staff who set up the service have now been overwhelmed by the number of fishermen who want to get involved.
Trust national enforcement manager Dilip Sarkar said: “The VBS is empowers anglers to support the EA, protect fish and fisheries, and positively influence rod licence compliance.
“We have 217 existing volunteers and, with inductions every autumn and spring, that number could quite easily double within the year.”