HUGE names have this week welcomed the appointment of former Parliamentary angling spokesman Martin Salter as the new national campaigns co-ordinator for the Angling Trust.
Martin, who stood down from the House of Commons at the last election, has recently returned from ‘a fishing and writing sabbatical’ in Australia which saw him publish a landmark report – Keep Australia Fishing – on the challenges facing the recreational fishing sector.
Martin has made good his pre election promise to return and campaign for a better deal for both anglers and for the fisheries on which our sport depends.
This new, part time post has been made possible following donations from the Angling Trades Association (ATA) and two individual benefactors who support the Angling Trust.
Martin is to be based within the Angling Trust but will be working across the sector as a whole to promote greater unity and improved joint working. In addition to assisting in campaigning, fundraising and political lobbying, Martin hopes to help drive up membership and increase participation in both the AT and ATA.
His principal roles are:
* Supporting angling participation programmes
* Liaising with the angling trade and other representative angling bodies
* Parliamentary and Ministerial liaison and political lobbying
* Membership recruitment and engagement
* Campaigns and communication
* Raising the media profile of angling
* Strategy advice and policy development
Martin said: ‘After an 18 month break to re-charge my batteries it’s great to be back and fighting for fishing. I particularly grateful to Mark Lloyd at the AT and Naidre Werner at the ATA for giving me the opportunity to put my skills, experience and contacts to good use and for the benefit of the sport we all love.
‘My first job is to recruit some high profile ambassadors to help me raise the profile of the Angling Trust so that it can become a really strong and powerful voice for recreational fishing and the environment. I’m particularly keen to get some effective outcomes from the current DEFRA review of cormorant predation which has caused so much damage to fish stocks.
‘I am already lined up to attend a range of ministerial and other meetings and will be addressing conferences and supporting the excellent work of Angling Trust campaigners Mark Owen (freshwater) and David Mitchell (sea angling) and the legal team headed by Justin Neal. I will be the main point of contact with my former colleagues on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Angling and will be developing and helping to implement a wider angling and fisheries campaign strategy for 2012,’ he added.
Martin’s appointment has been strongly endorsed by those at the very top of angling in the UK. Here’s what people have been saying.
Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon PM said:“I am really pleased that Martin will be active in the Angling Trust working with the Angling Trades Association to promote angling across the UK. Over the years I have built a healthy respect for Martin’s knowledge and passion for angling. I look forward to working with him in his new role and to seeing more people of all ages on our river banks and lakes.”
Chris Yates, author and former record carp holder (pictured left) said: “To have such a committed, experienced and passionate campaigner as Martin Salter fighting for our rivers will give every angler cause for hope and I applaud his appointment to the Angling Trust.”
Robin Morley, sales director of Daiwa UK, said:” I am delighted that we have managed to secure Martin Salter’s services to encourage, support and promote angling in the UK. Having known Martin for many years I know his passion for angling, not to mention his vast experience gained over the previous 13 years in Parliament, will prove invaluable in promoting angling to the level it deserves. I would also like to thank all the UK tackle companies who have made this possible by their contributions to the Angling Participation Fund organised by the Angling Trade Association (ATA)”
Charles Walker MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Angling said: “I believe that Martin Salter has been one of the most outstanding politicians of his generation when it comes to the championing of fishing interests. His depth and breadth of knowledge continues to be appreciated across the political spectrum, as does his campaigning zeal.”
Mark Lloyd, Angling Trust Chief Executive, said: “Martin Salter is quite simply the best person the Angling Trust could possibly employ to campaign for anglers’ interests. He has great contacts in Parliament, an encyclopaedic knowledge of angling and fisheries issues, and huge experience of communicating and lobbying at every level. We are very grateful to everyone who donated to make this possible. We hope that his appointment will encourage more individual anglers to get off the fence and join the Angling Trust so that we can continue to expand our work fighting for fish and fishing.”
Naidre Werner, Chairman of the Angling Trades Association, said: “With a fabulous contribution from the trade, we are able to enlist someone of Martin’s calibre and experience to raise the profile of angling and benefit of us all. The next twelve months will be very exciting.”
Wildlife photographer and film maker Hugh Miles (pictured right) said: “Our rivers and fish life are in desperate trouble and we couldn’t wish for a more energetic and efficient champion to fight their corner than Martin Salter”.
Paul Knight, CEO of the Salmon and Trout Association, added: “S&TA is very pleased to see Martin Salter back involved in angling and fisheries politics in England. We worked very closely with him when he was Angling Liaison Officer for the last Government, and we look forward to doing so again as he looks to unite the different approaches from the various angling and fisheries organisations into a unified voice for the benefit of both the sport and the aquatic resource upon which it depends.”
Angler’s Mail columnist John Bailey said: “I have known Martin for several years now and worked with him on a number of projects. I remain impressed by his vision, his energy and his ability to communicate. Above all, I like his obvious sincerity. Martin is no glib politician, he cares through and through for the causes he espouses. He is a terrific friend of angling and I for one will give him all my support. I really hope we have the opportunity to work together again in 2012 and do something positive for the sport we loveand believe in. This is, I believe, a really positive move for the Angling Trust and has made me personally want to get more on board.”
Angling columnist and broadcaster Keith Arthur added: “Since I have known Martin and, more importantly the job he has done for angling, the more I am convinced that he is what we need to carry our message. He is the perfect advocate for our sport, in my opinion.”
Mike Thrussell, director, World Sea Fishing Ltd (pictured left) added: “Martin Salter has a proven passion and track record for both defending and promoting angling. His appointment to the Angling Trust as National Campaigns Co-ordinator brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, influential contacts and know how that will push angling to the forefront and also contribute greatly to maintaining and growing the sport for the future. My hope and expectation is that his known ability to bring people together will also help unify and strengthen the sport so that anglers from all disciplines work together to secure a positive future.”