News on a recent illegal fishing case in Wales. Cases such as this underline the importance of best practice in catch and release. We would also draw attention to the average average monetary fine for fish poaching in Scotland which is £233 and the lowest average fine of all wildlife crime categories. We would like to see this addressed to ensure that fines serve as a suitable deterrant for illegal fishing activity.
A man has been ordered to pay almost £3,000 after he was spotted illegally catching a salmon in a Welsh river. Gavin Davies, of Heol Spurrell, Carmarthen, was seen catching the fish on the Wenallt fishing beat of the River Towy.
An enforcement officer from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and a police officer from Dyfed-Powys Police witnessed the incident, which took place on September 17, 2021. Davies, 42, used an illegal barbed fishing hook. You can keep up to date with the latest Carmarthenshire news by signing up to our local newsletter here.
It is a legal requirement in Wales that any salmon caught are released alive back into the river and that anglers who target migratory fish such as salmon and sea trout must use de-barbed or barbless fishing hooks. Although Davies was trying to put the salmon back into the river, he had, according to NRW, “showed a very poor catch and release practice, which would have contributed to the death of the fish if it had not already died due to the damage caused by the illegal hook”.