Four boaters who did not register their vessels have been landed with penalties totalling almost £4,000.
River inspectors found six boats without registration plates moored on the Nene in Northamptonshire, part of the Environment Agency’s Anglian Waterways network.
Three of the vessels were owned by just one offender.
It is a legal requirement for boat owners to register any vessel they keep, use or let for hire on Environment Agency waterways, and to clearly display a valid registration plate.
None of four boat owners had done so.
Andrew MacGilliuray of Kestrel Lane in Wellingborough, Jim Brown of Station Road in Ringstead, Steve Caines of Abbey Road in Lancing, West Sussex, and Raymond Davis of Friars Avenue, Northampton, all failed to register their vessels as required by law.
Their cases were heard at Northampton Magistrates’ Court and resulted in fines and costs totalling £3,927.23.
MacGilliuray, who owned three of the six boats, was ordered to pay a total of £1,357.96,
Brown must pay £1,112.29, Caines was fined £838, and Davis was told to pay £628.98.
Nathan Arnold, partnerships and development team leader at the Environment Agency, said: “Our historic and precious waterways are an important part of our nation’s heritage and are enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people every year.
“A significant part of caring for them, protecting them, and ensuring people continue to enjoy them is funded by boaters paying their way.
“Those who don’t contribute as they should are threatening the future of our waterways – and we won’t hesitate to take action against them.”
“As well as not contributing to the upkeep of waterways, unregistered boats can be unsafe, hazardous to other river users, and a pollution risk to the local environment and wildlife.
The Environment Agency looks after 353 miles of navigable waterways in the Anglian network, which includes the Ancholme, Black Sluice, Glen, Welland, Nene, Great Ouse and Stour, as well as associated locks and navigation facilities like moorings, showers and toilets.