Fish farmer Brian Dobson loses High Court compensation case

Brian Dodson Brian Dodson said he had stood up for fish farms and anglers

Related Stories

A fish farmer who said his carp were eaten by otters has lost his £2m damages claim.

Brian Dobson, 60, sued the Environment Agency after his business was ruined when an "otter haven" was set up close to his fish farm near Bangor, Gwynedd.

The High Court in Cardiff heard that 22,000 carp, worth £250,000, were eaten by the otters.

Mr Dobson, who faces a £10,000 costs bill, said he had "stood up for fish farms and anglers".

The hearing had been told that when Mr Dobson went to check his fish stocks all he found was fish bones after the otters had stripped the flesh from them.

Start Quote

I have gone as far as I can on my own but will try to help others in a similar situation”

End Quote Brian Dobson Fish farmer

He claimed £2m from the Environment Agency to cover the loss of income he believed he would have recouped from anglers using his fishery.

He said the agency acted illegally by building otter "holts" to encourage them to settle and breed.

The judge found in favour of the agency and ordered Mr Dobson to pay £10,000 of their £30,000 costs.

Judge Andrew Keyser QC said the agency did not build otter holts on the Afon Cegin river close to Mr Dobson's fish farm.

"The construction of the holds was a community-based activity and arranged by other people other than the agency.

"The spread of otters in the area was the result of natural processes and not their re-introduction."

Judge Keyser said the agency did not have a duty of care to inform Mr Dobson that there were otters in the area and it was up to him to find that out for himself.

'Very disappointed'

The hearing was told the otters which killed his stock came from a river less than two miles away from his fish farm in the village of Tregarth.

Mr Dobson said afterwards: "I'm very disappointed at the outcome - this was a test case for anglers facing the dangers of otters.

"I was standing up for fish farms and anglers throughout the country.

"I have gone as far as I can on my own but will try to help others in a similar situation."

Retired oil refinery engineer Mr Dobson, who conducted his own case and is living on state sickness benefits told the judge: "I can't pay the costs and will have to go bankrupt."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC North West Wales

Weather

Anglesey

16 °C 12 °C

Features

  • OrangemanPunctured pride?

    How would N Ireland's Orangemen feel if Scotland left the union?


  • MarchionessThames tragedy

    Survivors and victims' families remember Marchioness disaster


  • Sheep on Achill IslandMass exodus

    Why hundreds of thousands of people have left Ireland


  • A teenaged mother in the Zaatari campUntold misery

    The plight of Syria's refugee child brides


  • Michael MosleyMeat feast?

    Which is the best eco option - eating beef, chicken or mussels?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.