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Anglers chip fish to batter poaching attempts

The Local · 18 Jun 2012, 11:30

Published: 18 Jun 2012 11:30 GMT+02:00

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Stretches of water rich in wildlife are one of the northern state of Brandenburg's defining features, as are the fishermen who have made it their home and business.

But the state fishing association says theft is on the rise as poachers swoop in at night to steal valuable fish from traps – practically swiping the fish from the anglers’ dishes.

“On some long expanses of water there is just one patrol boat, which can make fishermen feel really alone,” said Lars Dettmann, head of the Brandenburg and Berlin fishing association.

And citing a lack of police presence in the area, some anglers have taken matters into their own hands.

Some fish are being chipped in an attempt to keep an eye on how many there are in the lakes – with eels being the most common subject of such tactics.

Other fishermen have employed professional security guards with special training in anti-poaching methods to keep an eye on traps during the night.

The stakes are high for the state's fishermen, as it is thought that poaching costs them around €100,000 in losses each year.

Poachers have been seen taking advantage of the ‘rest period’ in the autumn, when fishing is stopped to enable stocks to regenerate. Carp seem to be a favourite among the thieves, who some local fishermen believe are coming over the border from nearby Poland.

Eels are also a target for the poachers, as falling numbers are pushing up prices - particularly in Germany where smoked eel is a delicacy.

“As long as anglers are using traps, fish theft is going to be a problem,” head of Brandenburg's association for fishery protection, Ronald Menzel said.

He added that while some thieves run off with the whole trap, others try and re-set it after they have emptied the fish out to cover their tracks.

Story continues below…

“This rarely works,” Menzel said. “Fishermen know their own equipment and can tell if people have been meddling with it.”

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:20 June 18, 2012 by n230099
Maybe the problem is that you're eating f'ing eels.
20:29 June 18, 2012 by Englishted
Read the same stories in the English press they also blame the Poles I can't think why?
20:50 June 18, 2012 by NEUEVILLA
England is an entirely different case. Fish are not trapped, and may only be caught with rod and line. All coarse fish in lakes and rivers must be returned unharmed to the water. The Press reports do not refer to Poles, but to all continental Europeans. No Englishman would dream of eating carp, Zander or Perch.
20:56 June 18, 2012 by Englishted

We are talking poachers so maybe just maybe they don't use the rules ,they do refer to Poles as most people who have been caught are from there,also the problem was nowhere near on the same scale before a wall was removed and the E.U. expanded East without consulting its populations .
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