Fishing information for Europeans from Mildenhall business owner

A fishing tackle dealer has produced a series of posters in various languages in a bid to combat fish poaching in the region.

Steve Calder made the laminated colour-posters advising of the UK’s “catch and release” policy in Polish, Lithuanian, Albanian and Portuguese.

He now hopes angling clubs will display the free-of-charge posters in a bid to inform newcomers to the country, and to the sport of fishing.

“Since opening our shop in Mildenhall, I’ve heard some real horror stories, involving netting and even electro-fishing on a near commercial scale,” he said.

“Many of our customers are volunteer bailiffs who, seemingly day-to-day, encounter evidence of theft such as fish scales and carcases, deadlines, which are long lines with multiple baited hooks left in the water for long periods of time, and even makeshift bankside barbecues.

“The impact of poaching on fish populations in our rivers and lakes has been profound.”

He believes the problem is largely a lack of communication, however.

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“The UK is unusual within Europe in that we pursue a catch and release policy,” he added “In other countries, it’s perfectly normal for anglers to take home any fish that they catch - pike, zander and carp in particular.

“In Poland for example carp are regarded as a delicacy, having top-billing on many restaurant menus.

“In the UK, however, they are our most popular sport fish, held in high regard by anglers and larger specimens may be worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

“That’s an expensive barbecue.”