Fish farm fined for moving dodgy fish


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A Kent fish farm has been fined for making illegal deliveries of diseased fish to angling lakes.

According to icBerkshire, Kent-based Riverfield Fish Ltd applied to the Environment Agency for a permit to ship two different sizes of Bream to Thatcham Angling Association's Jubilee and Long lakes. However, the company did not submit the correct documentation for the fish in the smaller size class, which included details on their health, so the permit for their delivery was refused.

icBerkshire says that when Environment Agency officers went to Long Lake to inspect the fish in March 2004, they found that most of the fish were shorter than they should have been, so the officers refused to let the fish be released and took fish away for testing.

The officers discovered that the fish that the farm was trying to introduce were actually a mixture of bleak, roach and bream, and more than half of them were infected with the parasitic crustacean Paraergasilus longidigitus.

Riverfield pleaded guilty to two charges of attempting to introduce fish without consent and were fined 1,500 on each charge and ordered to pay more than 2,200 in court costs.

Dennis Welling of the Environment Agency told icBerkshire: "With more than 30 years' experience, there's really no excuse for Riverfield's actions on this occasion.

"They know full well the importance of controls on fish movements, and the crucial role they play in protecting our indigenous species and habitats.

"The company has acted unprofessionally and with irresponsible negligence, and I hope the fines imposed today ensure there are no such lapses in the future."