A two-day operation on the lower reaches of the non-tidal Thames has seen waterways officers serve 49 boaters with registration enforcement notices.

And the Environment Agency has warned the crackdown will continue through the boating season.

On the first day of the operation EA waterways officers supported by the Marine Police Unit targeted vessels moored on the river bank near Teddington. The following day they swooped on a stretch of river above Molesey Lock.

Matt Carter, Waterways Operations Manager, said: “Our crackdown on non-registration will continue throughout the boating season.”

Regulations require all boats kept on the River Thames, whether they are used or not, to display a valid annual boat registration licence.

Mr Carter said:"The income we raise from boat registration fees helps to pay for the upkeep of the entire non-tidal navigation between Teddington and Lechlade.

“The Thames is the oldest and most famous public navigation in the world, and we need every penny of registration income that we are due to keep it in the best condition possible

Environment Agency officers were joined for the operation by officers from the London Boroughs of Richmond and Kingston Upon Thames. The councils were serving notice to quit upon illegally moored boats near Teddington, several of which appeared to being used as houseboats.

The councils served notices to quit on vessels along the stretch upstream of Teddington with the Met’s MPU officers in attendance to prevent a breach of the peace.

Licence fees for boats on the river increased by an above-inflation 4.6% this year. A typical 30 foot motor boat now costs around £450 a year to licence.

Information and advice on how to purchase a boat registration can be found on the Environment Agency website , by phoning 03708 506 506 or by email at

Story dated April 18th 2013



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