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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WELCOME to another blog from the Angling Trust. It’s been another busy week, during which we received the tragic news that around 100,000 fish have been killed on the River Weaver in the North West.
The cause is as yet unknown and we will be pressing the Environment Agency to investigate fully. They are apparently blaming an algal bloom which seems pretty unlikely. If it is an algal bloom, this demonstrates the importance of tackling agricultural pollution, but we suspect that it is more likely to be spill of some sort. The Weaver has recovered well in recent years and is an important match fishing venue.
The River Wandle has also been polluted following a fire in a control centre at Beddington Sewage Treatment Works. This led to partially-treated sewage going into the river and a fish kill. The EA responded rapidly to oxygenate the water. Thames Water contacted us immediately and we will work with them and our member clubs on the river to put right the damage caused.
(Angler’s Mail magazine are hot on the case with the very latest on both stories – see the next issue. Ed.)
Membership and Cormorant Campaign News
THE Evesham Festival is always a brilliant Bank Holiday weekend and our regional officer Rich Hadley will be there with others from the development and coaching team running coaching taster sessions. He’ll be joined on Monday by Will Smith and Nick Simmonds from the membership team who will have an amazing special offer for anybody who joins on the day.
Nick had a successful time at the 3Rs event last week where Raison, Ringer and Rich (…that’s Will, Steve and Kieron) pledged their support for our Action On Cormorants campaign. The campaign postcards continue to fly out. We’ve distributed 80,000 already and have got to print even more to keep up with demand.
It’s great that so many of you have got behind this campaign. You only have to post one postcard to your MP and this will really make a difference. If your tackle shop haven’t got one for you just email their address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send some. Please consider making a donation to support this campaign at www.anglingtrust.net We have already spent more than £15,000 on postage and printing to make sure that anglers’ voices are heard.
Mark Owen has been in a two day meeting with Defra, the RSPB, Natural England and the Environment Agency on Thursday and Friday of this week to discuss cormorants and goosanders. This is the last of the review group meetings and will have been a difficult meeting.
Sea angling news
Last week David Mitchell returned from a trip to Lundy Island, in the Bristol Channel — England’s first designated marine conservation zone and ‘no take zone’. With a government consultation due to start later this year on the 127 proposed MCZs around the coast of England it was a perfect opportunity for the Angling Trust to get first hand experience of what the impacts and benefits of MCZs might be for sea anglers. David even managed to introduce the photographer to sea angling and with his first ever cast into the sea he caught a 2lb bass! That’s another new angler now hooked for life…
Last week we challenged the Marine Management Organisation over its misrepresentation in a press release and campaign that highlighted the problem of recreational sea anglers selling their catches. We believe that anyone selling their catch — whether legally or not — is fishing commercially and we’ve encouraged all recreational sea anglers to contact the MMO telling them not to confuse recreational angling with illegal commercial fishing. You can find more information about this on the news section of our website.
This week David Mitchell and Mark Owen will be travelling to Berlin for meetings of the European Anglers Alliance. There are currently many important issues facing both freshwater and sea anglers at an EU level and David and Mark will be representing the interests of anglers in England while promoting our current campaigns, such as the Cormorant Campaign and our Just Take 5 litter campaign.
Private Eye ran our story on Llyn Padarn this week: the Environment Agency has been ignoring the anglers’ campaign to stop sewage destroying the lake – and has now turned its fire on the anglers and may try to ban them from fishing because of the impact on fish stocks. The only reason fish stocks are so poor is that the Environment Agency has failed to regulate the sewage treatment works properly over the past two decades.
Our biggest legal case we are fighting for our members is, of course, the Pride of Derby and Derbyshire Angling Association V Canal and River Trust (British Waterways) and Small Hydro Company Limited about a hydropower development on the River Trent. The whole Fish Legal team has been working tirelessly to deal with the defendants’ legal tactics and prepare for the three day trial in September.
Meanwhile, they are submitting our legal arguments to the European court today or early next week to make sure that the water companies have to comply with freedom of information law.
Up in Scotland, Bob Younger has sent a report to the Scottish Government challenging the silly decision to grant planning permission to the Scottish Salmon company for a large new fish farm in Loch Torridon in Wester Ross.
All this work is funded by individual members of the Angling Trust and club and fishery members of Fish Legal. We need more subscriptions and donations to be able to fight for the benefit of fishing. Although membership is increasing, fewer than 1% of all anglers contribute to our work which is of benefit to all anglers.
With all best wishes from everyone at the Angling Trust and Fish Legal. We’ll be back again here next week.
- JOIN the Trust at www.anglingtrust.net You’ll also find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/AnglingTrust And on Twitter www.twitter.com/AnglingTrust
THE NEXT ANGLING TRUST BLOG WILL APPEAR ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1.
MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.
TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.
WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!
THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum 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