Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fish thieves flee when caught red-handed

PAC member Mark Thomas disturbed eastern European fish thieves in the act as they plundered a river near his home in Northants.

Taking his dog for a walk along the bank, he saw two men behaving suspiciously near the water.

"They were acting a bit strange so I stopped and asked them what they were doing down here as it's not somewhere you find people hanging around," he said.

"They were both wet up to their knees and had a few black bags with them.

"They acted as if they didn't understand me, when I identified myself as a club ticket holder and asked them to show me what was in the bags, they ran off."

The bin bags contained about 10 jacks and some perch of around a pound. When Mark looked along the bank, he found set lines baited with worms, fish and even bacon rind.

"I phoned the secretary of the club and left a message and contacted the local police station," he went on.

"But yes, you've guessed it - they did not want to know. And the EA reckon fish theft is not a problem.

"I know these people have to eat and I also know that its OK to take fish in their own countries but they need educating and showing its not the way we do things here.

"When are the people in charge of this country realise we have to look after our land and our countryside now - not when it's too late."

The PAC advises all members to store the EA's 24/7 Emergency Hotline number on their mobiles and use it to report all suspicious activity on our riverbanks. It's free to call on 0800 807060.