FEDERATION OF WELSH GAME ANGLERS

May I thank all of you that were kind enough to respond to my request for support for the proposed Federation. My thanks also to those we met and who contributed meaningfully to our discussions and proposals. The intention was to set up a body to represent Welsh game anglers to try to combat the current apparent contempt with which we considered by so may. To be truly representative, we had to establish a consensus, a basis upon which to progress. Unfortunately, this proved impossible and so:

It with more than a little regret that we have to inform you, that, following considerable consultation, we intend to cease our efforts to form the Federation of Welsh Game Anglers and give all the support we can to the Angling Trust and its efforts to expand its sphere of influence to Wales.

We were invited to set up the Welsh Federation of Game Anglers by Angling Cymru. We started the process with enthusiasm and the best of intentions, however it quickly became clear that whilst there is widespread support for the formation of an organisation to represent Welsh game anglers, there is also widespread confusion about just who or which organisation(s) does so at present. So for clarity, the overarching responsibility for Welsh anglers in terms of the Welsh Government perception currently rests with Angling Cymru, albeit that many thought the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association were fulfilling that role.

Under the Angling Cymru umbrella, The Federation of Welsh Coarse Anglers and The Federation of Welsh Sea Anglers look after the interests of their respective branches of angling. Following the withdrawal of WSTAA from their association with Angling Cymru there is currently no representation within Angling Cymru for Welsh game anglers. This goes some way to explain the gross lack of interest in Welsh game angling at any level likely to be in a position to effectively fight for our cause.

We were also disappointed that, at the time of being asked to set up the Federation of Welsh Game Anglers, it was not disclosed to us that the Angling Trust had recently submitted a proposal to Angling Cymru presenting a number of options for models of organisations which would involve greater collaboration and rationalisation of angling representation and would all result in the Angling Trust representing all Welsh anglers at government level. We were provided with confirmation of the approach from Angling Trust when we directly asked Angling Cymru for details but also advised that it had been dismissed out of hand.

Those of you that have supported the Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries over the years will have noticed that much of the “good news” on the website has related to the efforts of the Angling Trust in England, where they seem to be making significant progress, whilst anglers in Wales seem to be being treated with contempt. The Angling Trust has made great efforts in England over the last seven years and we need that level of commitment to be made here in Wales. Three of our major river systems, the Rivers Wye, Severn and Dee at least in part flow through both countries and are broadly overseen by the Environment Agency with input from the NRW in Wales although DEFRA bears the legal responsibility for English and Welsh rivers.

The one commonality shared by all parties with whom we have consulted, is that there is a desperate need for Welsh game anglers to be represented at the highest level. The Angling Trust, with its sister organisation Fish Legal, has shown what can be done for angling in general and for game angling in particular with organisation, determination and a sense of purpose, currently shown by the English Government’s commitment to the Trust’s “Save our Salmon” campaign.

There is an old maxim “divide to rule” and currently Welsh game anglers are divided and consequently those that “rule over us” do so with impunity. This has to stop.

Support the Angling Trust and help us to fight for a broadening of their sphere of influence to include at least Welsh game angling if not all Welsh angling!

WELSH GAME ANGLERS CURRENTLY HAVE NO REPRESENTATION AT GOVERNMENT LEVEL

We have to unite to establish a meaningful and accepted representative body to look after our own interests and those of the fish and fisheries in Wales. Apart from the government’s own figures which state that agling generates around £150 million into the Welsh economy, the social benefits are enormous, and we are being ignored.

The Welsh Federation of Game Anglers have emailed the following appeal to angling club representatives all over Wales, if your club has not received one then either we have a wrong email address or we don’t have your details. Please let us have your contact details so that we can keep you informed of progress.

If the Federation is to work, then we need to work together, gather the best people together to represent us and stand united. These initial stages will establish the level of support we have , we will then have to talk together  and agree teh way forward. Nothing is either set in stone or predetermined. This site is being used as a vehicle to promote the Federation of Welsh Game Anglers and keep you informed of progress. In the fullness of time  FWGA will develop its own website.

The Federation constitution, aims and objectives and proposed structure are currently being developed: all subject to approval by the membership later. This is our chance to do something meaningful for our sport and we need your support.

Please email  welshfed@gmail.com

 

The letter that has been sent out to club representatives follows.

28th March 2015Hi,

Let’s put a stop to the way game anglers, and indeed game fish, are being treated in Wales. I write to seek your support in forming a new governing body to represent game anglers and fisheries at the highest level in Wales. Currently, unlike Welsh coarse and sea anglers, game anglers are not represented at government level.

This has been blind copied to you and to a great number of representatives of other Welsh angling clubs, in the hope that you will be willing to join in the formation of this new organisation, the aim of which will be simply to protect the interests of Welsh game anglers and Welsh game fisheries. There is currently no such organisation formally recognised by the Welsh Government, local authorities or other organisations that may have influence over game angling or the health and welfare of our fisheries or the fish in them. I have been formally asked by well known angling organisations as well as senior and well respected representatives of the Welsh game angling community to seek support for the formation of such a group and start the process of forming a new governing body.

I write to appeal to you to join likeminded game anglers and riparian owners in the hope of securing a voice for the future of game angling and game fish throughout Wales.

 

This is a golden opportunity for us to form a new governing body that really represents the needs of game angling in Wales. To allow us to present the Welsh Government and others with our case, in the hope of influencing the debates, both current and future, about the issues that impact on the wellbeing of game fish and fisheries within Wales.

 

By participating you will be able to exert an influence and hopefully to sway the so called guardians of our fishery environment in a way that will help preserve the iconic natural resources of Wales that are our salmon, sewin, trout and grayling and help ensure that they have a secure future and are supported to thrive for future generations.

 

With the withdrawal of WSTAA from Angling Cymru, the anglers of Wales, have lacked any recognised voice for several years now and many of us believe that it is this lack of formal representation that has allowed the many changes to the management of our fisheries to proceed despite the efforts of many of our community to challenge them. This has to be addressed.

 

We are appealing to you to offer your support to this proposal, because the future of game angling in Wales is in your hands, so please take this important opportunity to register your willingness to join in and become part of a stronger voice for game angling in Wales for now and the future.

 

We are currently in the process of drawing up a formal constitution, rules and regulations and in forming a “founding committee”. When this process is complete we hope you will continue to support the governing body, and then after consulting with you, we can all agree a way forward that will set us on course to protect the game fish and fisheries of Wales.

 

In order to be sure that there is support among Welsh anglers, we will really appreciate your formal agreement to, or at least support for, this proposal, so I look forward to hearing from you.

 

We will get back to you after we have received feedback from the other clubs.

 

Thank you in anticipation.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

Allan Cuthbert

On behalf of the embryonic Welsh Federation of Game Anglers

 

Please respond to:  welshfed@gmail.com