By Claire Carter
An angler who bragged on film about poaching and then posted the film on YouTube is the first person to be prosecuted by the Environment Agency based on evidence from social media.
An angler who filmed himself catching a fish and posted the clip on YouTube ended up being fined for poaching.
Benjamin Cook, 31, bragged on the video clip that 'this is how you poach salmon' - even though it was a sea trout - and was filmed removing it from a poaching net.
He was caught after a fisheries officer spotted the clip online and recognised Cook from a previous poaching case, and has become the first time the Environment Agency has brought a case based on social media evidence.
Cook was prosecuted for using an unlicensed net to catch salmon and sea trout in contravention of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.
He filmed himself fishing on the River Sherford in Dorset in the summer of 2009 and the clip, called ‘Poachin in Poole’ was uploaded to YouTube by a friend on January 8, 2010. It has had more than 700 views.
On the clip Cook is seen picking fish from the large poaching net and is heard saying: "Basically boys, this is how you poach salmon. What do I know, I've only been doing it since I was a boy.
"We loves our poaching net. It's in the blood - like a drug addiction. Once you've got it you've got it for life."
Two more fish he illegally caught can be seen on the bank in the video, and the fish were worth around £120. More....