Derby takeaway worker fined after crayfish-catching sting

Plastic trays Image copyright Environment Agency
Image caption Environment Agency officers found plastic trays in a vehicle

A takeaway worker caught fishing illegally in a city centre river denied the crayfish he landed were to be sold.

Zong He was caught using plastic trays and twine at the River Derwent in Derby in the early hours, last September.

The 48-year-old admitted illegal fishing at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court and was fined £406.

He, of College Street, Long Eaton, was caught by environmental officers after men were seen using trays and chicken carcasses to trap the crayfish.

Environment Agency (EA) officers, who stopped Mr He, told the court he initially denied the illegal fishing but plastic trays and green twine found in his vehicle matched those found further along the river that had snared up to 30 crayfish.

The agency said he then admitted using the trays but insisted he was hoping to catch lobster and had no intention of selling what he caught at the takeaway where he works.

He was fined £276 and ordered to pay £100 towards prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Image copyright Environment Agency
Image caption He told officers he had been hoping to catch lobsters rather than crayfish

After sentencing Pete Haslock, enforcement team leader for the EA in the East Midlands, said: "The case shows how seriously the Environment Agency takes these offences and reminds everyone of the importance of having a licence.

"We hope it will provide a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of fishing without a licence."

The EA said further arrests had been made in connection with the illegal trapping of crayfish in Derby.

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