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AT Alert

Angling Alert Sign up for free to receive alerts about fish poaching and theft, fisheries crime and fisheries enforcement from the Angling Trust, Environment Agency, Police and Cefas

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Meet the team The dedicated Angling Trust staff who make up the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service

SmartWater is a unique marking solution with a 100% conviction rate in court

Tackle theft The Angling Trust's partnership with SmartWater to develop a unique forensic property marker specifically for fishing tackle

Fisheries Enforcement Campaign

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Raising Awareness: NE Regional Enforcement Manager Giles Evans and Volunteer
Bailiffs working with the police to raise awareness via a regional radio interview


Poaching – fishing without permission – and fish theft, along with anti-social behaviour and other crime at fisheries are of great concern to all anglers.


In 2012, the Angling Trust had the foresight to engage life-long angler and retired West Mercia police officer Dilip Sarkar MBE to lead on coordinating the response to this issue and briefing police forces nationwide. Working closely with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, Crown Prosecution Service and Magistrates’ Association, awareness was increased and a multi-agency response initiated.

Whilst the police deal with criminal matters, the Environment Agency is the statutory lead agency on fisheries enforcement. Essentially, this largely involves rod licence compliance and fisheries offences. Clearly then, the police and Agency have distinct roles – and must work smarter together.

To encourage this, in November 2014 Operation TRAVERSE, targeting poaching and fish theft, was launched at Lincolnshire Police headquarters, followed in June 2015, by Operation LEVIATHAN, launched at West Mercia Police headquarters. Most forces in the country now subscribe to one or other, ensuring that the Agency receives better support and anglers an improved service.

We must all understand that the system is ‘intelligence-led’, meaning that every incoming call and piece of information is vital. Indeed, the statistics arising are what quantify problems and arguments for more resources.

It is crucial that crimes in progress are reported to the police (police advise using 999 if appropriate), and fisheries offences to the Agency on 0800 80 70 60.  

This short BBC documentary concerning Operation TRAVERSE perfectly explains the problem and response initiated by Angling Trust policing professionals.

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Working together: Essex Police joining Operation TRAVERSE, working with
the Environment Agency and Angling Trust in protecting fish and fisheries


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Operation LEVIATHAN targets illegal fishing and fish theft in the western half of England;
all Welsh police forces are also partners while (bottom right) Operation TRAVERSE
covers the Eastern half of England. We work closely with the UK National Wildlife Crime
Unit (top) whose Project Poacher App can be downloaded here

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers.
Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us.
Email: admin@anglingtrust.net
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Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350

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