SATURDAYS see the good people at The Angling Trust, the single organisation to represent all game, coarse and sea anglers and angling in this country, take over our blog. Angling Trust chief executive, Mark Lloyd brings you this week’s blog.
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PROTECTING STOCKS… VIA MANCHESTER & BIRMINGHAM
THIS week we sent our campaigns chief Martin Salter back to his roots with a trip to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester… representing our constituency – angling.
He spoke at a fringe meeting on the benefits of angling and on our campaigns to protect fish stocks from excessive cormorant predation and to see more and bigger bass through an increase in the minimum landing size.
The joint Angling Trust / BASC meeting was attended by no fewer than three Shadow Ministers which shows that Martin’s former colleagues in Parliament haven’t forgotten the importance of our sport. In fact he main speaker, Tom Harris MP, publicly committed his party to working with us to update Labour’s Charter for Angling ahead of the next election.
Look out for more in the next edition of our members’ magazine ‘The Angle’ where we will be featuring interviews with some of the politicians who matter most to angling.
I’ll be going with Martin to the Conservative conference next week in Birmingham which is always a busy event. These events are a vital opportunity to mix with senior politicians, but also with local councillors and party members who can have a big influence on local decisions which can be really important to thousands of anglers.
Everyone at party conferences is acutely aware of the need to attract votes for their party and so they are keen to hear what they can do to look after the interests of the millions of people who pick up a rod. Now, at last, we have a professional representative body representing all anglers which can make a powerful case for protecting and improving fish stocks and access to them. We have built strong relationships across the political spectrum and we need to maintain these by regularly briefing politicians about the issues that matter to them.
I haven’t had any time for fishing in the last fortnight, and I’m beginning to get withdrawal symptoms! I’ve been immersed in working on our Sport England funding bid, which is a massive piece of work, and on editing the National Angling Participation Strategy. These pieces of work will shape the future of angling for the next four years, so it’s important we get them as good as possible. Hopefully I’ll get away from the computer at some point this weekend to have a cast and forget about spreadsheets and bullet points for a while.
It was a big week for the Angling Trust in the South East as we had the inaugural meeting of our new South East Freshwater Forum in Crawley on Wednesday night. The Forum was themed “Protecting our Waters: Combatting Illegal Fishing” and this obviously struck a chord with anglers in the region as we had a fantastic turn out. In total over 50 members attended, many of whom represented clubs, associations, fisheries and tackle businesses from Hampshire, Sussex and Kent. Speakers included Adrian Brightley from the EA Enforcement Team, Rado Papiewski who co-ordinates the Building Bridges Initiative and our Chairman Mike Heylin. It was great to see so many members at the event and to feel the warmth of support for the work that we are doing.
Our regions co-ordinator John Cheyne was on hand to represent the Trust in front of TV cameras from the BBC and ITV as the EA announced the frightening news that a new species of invasive “killer” shrimp have been discovered in the Severn and in two canals in Worcestershire. John outlined the increasing need for anglers and all water users to “check, clean and dry” their equipment after use to stop the spread of non-native invasive species. He also reiterated the Trust’s call on the government to ratify the International Maritime Organisation’s Convention on Ballast Water which could help enormously in limiting the arrival of these destructive species into UK waters.
Woody’s with us – are you?
Anybody who fishes the Wye knows that Paul “Woody” Woodward at Woody’s Angling Centre is THE man to ask about where the fish are coming out, what bait is working and whether recent monsoon conditions mean that a visit to the banks should only be attempted with a lifejacket and rope! It was great news then when Woody contacted us to sign up the shop as Trade Members.
As the membership office is only based just up the road in Leominster, our Membership Officer Nick Simmonds popped over to deliver their membership certificate and to get all the details we’ll include on Woody’s free Find a Trade Member map listing .
Woody said “All tackle shops should get behind the Angling Trust to support the future of angling and protect the future of their business.”
Next time you go into your local tackle shop please ask them to sign up using the form on our website here. For just £30 a year it’s a bargain!
From the competitions scene…
Starlets AS impressed with a stunning performance in winning the third ‘Preston Innovations World Club Classic’ qualifying event last weekend 29th /30th September. The top ten teams from the Angling Trust’s Division One National Championships battled it out in a two day event fished to FIPSed international rules.
The winning team will now travel to Italy next year to compete in the World Club Championships on the Newark Dyke with a fantastic £7,000 first prize donated by the sponsors Preston Innovations which will help Starlets AS in their quest to win Gold in Italy.
Starlets AS not only walked away with the winning team title from the event, but Ade Whittle of Starlets AS was the winning individual with a fantastic 2 points and 7.710kg, Ade was presented with a £1,000 cheque from the sponsors Preston Innovations.
Dates and venues for the Angling Trust National Championships have been set for 2013 and these are available on the Angling Trust website by clicking here.
We wish the Angling Trust’s Mens and Ladies Shore Angling Teams the best of luck as they go and compete in the FIPS-M World Shore Championships on the beautiful beaches of Walcheren, Netherlands from 14th – 19th October 2012.
The Southern Fly Fishers are holding the 2013 Rivers National Qualifier this Saturday 13th October at the Lower Itchen Fishery and a good turn out is expected.
Sandra Drew, Competitions & Events Manager of the Angling Trust would like to offer her best wishes and thanks to Sandy Grandon who has been part of the Competitions team at the Angling Trust in the Nottingham office for the last 16 months. Sandy is leaving the Angling Trust this week and everyone at the Nottingham office wish her all the very best in her new job and would like to thank her for all her work involved in her support and help in administering the competitions for the Angling Trust.
THE ANGLING TRUST BLOG WILL BE BACK NEXT SATURDAY. AN EXCLUSIVE NEW BLOG APPEARS ON THIS SITE EVERY DAY.
Below is a list of all our exclusive new daily blogs and when they go live:
TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.
WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!
THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum, Marukyu and Pallatrax, on rotation.
FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.
SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.
SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist.