Fisherman wins judicial review against Environment Agency catch limits

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the Environment Agency regarding a judicial review brought by a fisherman over conditions it had imposed on his fishing licence

Putchers
Historic photo showing a putcher rank in use 

The Environment Agency should have considered the livelihood of a traditional fisherman before it changed the conditions of his licence, judges have ruled.

The case involved a fisherman, Mr Mott, who held a leasehold in a fishery on the Severn Estuary. The fishery was a “putcher rank”, a traditional fishing technique involving the use of conical baskets to trap adult salmon as they returned to a river from the open sea to spawn. Catching salmon using this method had been Mott’s full-time occupation since 1979, for which he was granted an annual licence from the agency under section 25 of the Salmon Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

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