Boat owners in Cambridgeshire are being urged to make sure their vessels are properly registered after an increase in the amount of people being fined.

The call comes after six boaters were ordered to forfeit more than £7,200 between them - all for failing to register their craft for use on the River Nene.

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 the six boaters found guilty had done so.

It brings the total amount of avoided registration charges that have been recovered by the Environment Agency this year to almost £120,000.

The agency said cash is reinvested into maintaining, improving and protecting waterways.

Nathan Arnold, waterways partnerships and development team leader, 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.

"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 its 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.

More information about boating and waterways, including registering vessels, is available at www.gov.uk/ea.

If you suspect a boat is illegal, you can contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 or e-mail waterways.enforcementanglian@environment-agency.gov.uk.