By Jason Moore
YESTERDAY, we received an email from a very angry holidaymaker who said that he had gone fishing but he had been told by police that he needed a licence. He says in his letter that this is the first in 16 years that the police had demanded a licence and he says that the local authorities and fishing shops are at fault for not publicising the fact that a fishing licence is needed. Its a good point and I have often wondered whether tourists realise that they are infact breaking the law if they do not have the necessary document from the local ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries. To get a licence is quite complicated; you go to the ministry in Palma, fill-in a form, go to the bank next door and pay about 20 euros and then return and get your licence. Do you think a tourist on a 10 day holiday, who fancies going fishing will go through this process which takes at least an hour and speaking the language is vital? I don't think so. As the angry tourist say it would be a better idea if these licences were available from the actual shops or even hotel receptions. While I believe has has a point, he must remember though, that in Britain no-one would dream of going fishing without a licence. It is the law of the land, and like in Spain, it is enforced by the police and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It is not just red tape, the local authorities, to protect fish stocks want to know how many people are out and about with rods and tackle. So tourists be warned; if you fish without a licence don't forget that you need a licence. However, judging by the dwindling fish stocks in the Mediterranean and around the Balearics there isn't much point in going fishing. It may be relaxing but the chance of making an important catch are about as probable as your average tourist getting a fishing licence.

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