Campaign writes to the minister: again re: NRW fisheries bylaw proposals

CAMPAIGN FOR THE PROTECTION OF WELSH FISHERIES

PresidentAllan Cuthbert

7 Norton Avenue

Prestatyn

Denbighshire

LL19 7NL

 

Email: 1highplains@gmail.com

Strategy OfficerJohn Eardley

c/o Vanner Farm & Caravan Site

Llanelltyd

Dolgellau

Gwynedd

LL40 2HE

Email: johneardley@btinternet.com

 

Conservation OfficerChris White

57 Normanby Drive

Connahs Quay

Flintshire

CH5 4JX

 

Email:chriswhite.cohite@gmail.com

Re: NRW fisheries bylaw proposals                                                          7 February 2018

Dear Minister,

Thank you for your recent response on the above issue I fully appreciate that until NRW presents their proposals you are not in a position to make any comment.  Our concern is that you will be persuaded to approve the proposals without providing the major stakeholders a chance to voice our concerns and offer a solution which does not require legislation.

It was clear from the consultation that 83% of responders opposed the proposed bylaws, the majority from North Wales as they have most to lose.

Since the NRW Board meeting on 18 January stakeholders have met from across North Wales to look for alternatives to the proposed bylaws which will provide the same or better outcome than through legislation.  If legislation is implemented it cannot be policed, local clubs on the other hand can police their own members.

As well as support from many clubs in North Wales, we have the support of several clubs from mid and South Wales, and will be in discussion with other Trusts and clubs across Wales shortly.  Having talked to, and having the support of, both the North Wales Rivers Trusts and Afonydd Cymru, we would offer the following solution.

These are our outline proposals:

  • Use the Rivers Trusts, working in co-operation with stakeholders and NRW to assess stock levels in individual river systems.  Trusts, using their local volunteers, have far better knowledge of their rivers and can obtain accurate catch returns and stock assessments from clubs.  We could then categorise our rivers as has been done in Scotland and Ireland. If rivers require additional restrictions due to low stock levels at least we would have the support of the affected clubs as we will be working in partnership with them.
  • By working with clubs we can involve the local community in assessing the state of their rivers and work with them to ensure workable conservation measures are put in place.
  • Afonydd Cymru would act as the co-ordinator for the Rivers Trusts and would liaise with NRW on technical matters.  This would be cost neutral and would go a long way to bridge the budget gap NRW fisheries are now facing.

There is still a lot of detail to be ironed out but we believe that we have basis of a workable solution without resorting to legislation.  We would be pleased to meet with you or your Environment Minister (Hanna Blythyn) to explain both our concerns and the way forward.

Regards

Chris White

Conservation Officer: Campaign for the protection of Welsh fisheries

 

CPWF has the support of freshwater and sea anglers in Wales.

Visit our website at www.cpwf.co.uk

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