Prestigious award presented to Fisheries Enforcement Officer for ‘outstanding support’ of volunteer bailiffs

The Angling Trust has awarded a prestigious Certificate of Excellence award to Martynas Pranaitis, a Fisheries Enforcement Officer with the Environment Agency.

Martynas received the award from Mark Owen, the Angling Trust’s Head of Freshwater, for “outstanding work supporting and promoting Voluntary Bailiff Phase 2 in the Kent, South London and East Sussex area.”

Lithuanian-speaking Martynas has worked closely with the Angling Trust’s Building Bridges project for a number of years and became one of the first Phase 2 warranted volunteer bailiffs before landing what he described as a “dream job” as Fisheries Enforcement Officer three years ago.

Martynas Pranaitis with his award

Stuart Crookshank, a Phase 2 warranted volunteer bailiff, praised Martynas for his commitment throughout the pandemic.

“Over the last two years, which were exceptionally busy with the large numbers of anglers taking the opportunity to fish during the pandemic, Martynas provided invaluable support and assistance,” said Stuart.

“We maintained regular patrols throughout the pandemic, visiting commercial fisheries large and small, club waters and rivers. During this period I issued over 150 offence report forms and carried out nearly 2,000 rod licence checks. This would not have been possible without Martynas’s dedication.”

David Wilkins, Regional Enforcement Support Manager for the South East, said: “I have worked with Martynas as both a volunteer bailiff at Phase 2 and in his Building Bridges role, as well as his current role with the Environment Agency. Martynas’s enthusiasm and support of the Voluntary Bailiff Service’s Phase 2 project in the Kent, South London and East Sussex area has been essential to the success of the project within the region. This shows the value of the Phase 2 project and how well it can work with the appropriate support. Well done, Martynas and thanks.”

Also on the day two newly warranted volunteer bailiffs were presented with their official warrants by Dave Webb, Environment Agency Area Fisheries Team Leader. The recipients were Bogdan Pascaru and Peter Bowis-Davis, both experienced members of the Voluntary Bailiff Service.

Dave commented: “Over several years Martynas has made an outstanding contribution to the Voluntary Bailiff Service within Kent, South London and East Sussex, in both developing ways of working and supporting individual volunteer bailiffs.”

Nino Brancato, the Angling Trust’s National Enforcement Support Manager, said: “I’m very proud to see the Environment Agency’s Kent, South London and East Sussex team supporting our voluntary bailiffs and helping them to progress to warranted volunteers. The Environment Agency needs to promote and support this across the whole of England to bring the angling community on board and make them part of the long-term solution in creating a visible presence and deterrence to the small minority that choose not to follow the rules.”

VBS Phase 2 is currently in a pilot phase across four Environment Agency Areas.


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