More than £5m worth of fishing gear has been confiscated from a London family, after a man was caught illegally fishing on a boat belonging to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The boat was discovered in the Thames by a fishing boat operator and was towed away by a private boat, with the contents of the boat and all onboard removed.
The fishing gear included fishing line, lines, bait, spades, a fishing pole, hooks, spoons and a fishing net.
A man who identified himself as a former member of the Royal College of Fishermen and Aquatic Life (RCAFL) was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and possession of fish hooks and fishing line.
The man was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
“The fishing gear was found in the boat,” a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said.
“A total of 11 items were recovered and the items found were all of the same species.”
They included a line from a spade, a line with a metal spike on it, and a pole and spades.
The RCAFL has confirmed that the items recovered include fishing line and fishing pole. “
There were some very heavy lines and some heavy spades used in fishing, and they were found on the boat, which was the largest boat that had ever been caught,” the spokesman said.
The RCAFL has confirmed that the items recovered include fishing line and fishing pole.
“We have a strong line of enquiry and we are looking at what is going on,” the spokesperson said.
A spokeswoman for the RCAFA said: “The RCAFAs staff are investigating whether this man was fishing with any other fish, such as a salmon, and whether the boat had any fish on board.”
There is no suggestion the fishing gear is the result of a criminal act, the spokesman added.
A statement from the RCFALL said: A fisherman who has been arrested under UK fishing law and charged with criminal damage has been contacted and his boat has been removed from Thames Water, and it is now being inspected by the Metropolitan police.
“It is our view that this incident has been brought under the umbrella of the Fisheries (Act) 1961 and that it is an act of criminal negligence which resulted in the loss of a valuable, highly valued and potentially useful item.”
We are very concerned that these items have been illegally and illegally taken, which is very sad and it does not represent the kind of family that we aspire to represent.