Anglers will need to consider their legal status following a court case and prosecution for theft of Broads fishing rights Great Yarmouth magistrates heard on the 20th Nov. A Pike Angler was found guiltily for Fishing Without Permission in Horsey Mere last January. This is a criminal offence and as such he was handed a 12 month conditional discharge and a criminal record and costs of £641.
So what does this mean for anglers who fish from bank or boat within the Broads Tidal waterways and who have claimed for years is free to fish being tidal water under the King John’s Magna Carta, 1215.
This case has established that landowners do have riparian rights and can choose to legally enforce these rights when appropriate. Previous thoughts that Magna Carta covered and installed these rights were repealed in 1969.
The Broads Angling Services Group are currently scoping a solution with the introduction of a Broads Fisheries Permit and initiated discussions with landowners and stakeholders to lease these riparian rights and provide fisheries management services across the Broads.
We have seen with the current Hoveton Great Broad case that neither Natural England nor the Environment Agency will represent fisheries interests, even when clear science demonstrates the case. A fishery permit scheme could potentially fund its own management to sustain and enhance this great natural resource and ensure the balance is made between man and nature.
The full Norfolk Police Press release is available here from
Kelvin Allen Chairman BASG States
The Broads has long be seen as different to most places in the UK as the public has access to effectively free fishing. This case now aligns the Broads like other venues, where anglers lease fishing rights from landowners. We will be engaging stakeholders in the coming months in how to design, implement such a scheme, that would be palatable to local anglers.
BASG CIC 25th Nov 2020