ANGLING TRUST AGAINST TIDAL LAGOON

Angling Trust Media Release Thursday, 12th January, 2017

Environmental case for tidal lagoons is stuck in the mud

                                  In recent years there has been a renewed interest by anglers in targeting true crucan carp, like this fine specimen, and it's great to see more and more fisheries being managed to promote this species.

The Government’s Hendry report issued today has given a cautious backing for the financial case for tidal lagoons but it failed to examine the environmental impact of these colossal developments or to consider alternative technologies to generate tidal power which are currently being developed.

The report also bases its assessment of the economics on a 120 year lifetime – double the 60 years initially suggested by the developers – which is unrealistic due to the high risk of the lagoons filling with sediment well before the year 2140, by which time there will inevitably have been technological developments for renewable power generation which will make lagoon technology seem like ancient history.

Natural Resources Wales has already concluded [note 1] that there could be a major adverse impact on fish populations, such as fragile salmon and sea trout stocks, from the currently-proposed Swansea Bay lagoon design. The regulator has indicated that it would not be able to grant the project the Marine Licence it needs to go ahead based on the evidence supplied to date by developers Tidal Lagoon Power.

The Swansea scheme only begins to make any economic sense at all if the much larger lagoon near Cardiff were also to be constructed, but this is sited in an even more sensitive environmental area than Swansea Bay, with several international conservation designations related to salmon, shad, eels and lamprey, as well as rare marine habitats which could be destroyed.

In 2010, a report to the then Department of Energy and Climate Change [note 2] concluded that tidal lagoons in the Severn Estuary could cause the extinction of some of these fish populations. In 2015, Natural Resources Wales indicated that these conclusions were still valid.

Major concerns have also been raised by expert tidal geomorphologists about the effect of the lagoons on sediment deposition in the silt-laden waters of the Severn estuary, with some suggesting that the lifespan of the lagoons should be shortened to one or two decades rather than the 95 years on which the Hendry report bases its calculations of value for money, which would blow the economic case for public support out of the water.

Large amounts of energy would be expended mining and transporting vast quantities of rock from the proposed quarry site in Cornwall – the use of which has also been successfully challenged in the courts by local community and environmental groups in the area – before any energy is generated from the tides.

Building such huge developments in the Severn Estuary could prevent the exploitation of tidal energy by alternative, more benign technologies which are currently in development and others which have not yet been developed. There is undoubtedly great potential for renewable energy generation around the UK coastline, but this should only be permitted if it can be proven not to cause unacceptable damage to the environment.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal, said: “Tidal Lagoon Power has done a first rate job at spinning this project politically, but the company has failed spectacularly to quantify convincingly the impacts on sediment deposition, local communities, wildlife and fisheries, which are of particular interest to our members. The Government should avoid giving its backing to what could be a colossal series of white elephants before carrying out a more strategic assessment of the sustainable management of the Severn Estuary and other areas with large tidal ranges around the UK. It is impossible to see how lagoons could be built while meeting the government’s headline commitment to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation.”

Gwynedd Local Fisheries Advisory Group challenge N.R.W over C&R proposals

 From Charlie Abbot: charlie@foxxholdings.co.uk   Hywel Bromley Davenport hb-davenport@hotmail.com   John Eardley johneardley@btinternet.com    Gavin Jones  daa.secretary@btinternet.com   3rd January 2017

To: Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM

National Assembly for Wales

Cardiff Bay

Cardiff

CF99 1NA

Copies to:

Liz Saville Roberts MP

Cllr Peredur Jenkins

Cllr Linda Morgan

Cllr Dyfrig L. Siencyn

Mark Lloyd – Angling Trust

NRW Board Members (via NRW Board Secretariat)

Dear Dafydd,

Collectively we represent the vast majority of angling interests on the Mawddach & Wnion and between us have more than 160 years’ experience of fishing these rivers. At the Gwynedd Local Fisheries Advisory Group Meeting at Coed-y-Brenin on 30th November we were made aware of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) proposed decision to implement Mandatory Catch & Release in 2017 for Salmon across Wales and for Sea Trout in the rivers Dysynni, Gwyrfai, Mawddach &Wnion and Seiont. Not only do we have grave concerns about the impact of these decisions on the future of angling in Wales but are also fearful of the serious implications for local tourism.

Anglers across Wales feel that NRW is either not listening or simply choosing to ignore their concerns and we wish to raise a number of issues which we will address separately. Unless otherwise stated all quotes from NRW in this letter are taken from the documents NRW B B 40.15 and NRW B B 40.15 Annex 2 which were presented to the NRW Board Meeting at Canolfan Cae Cymro, Clawdd Newydd on 9th July 2015.

  1. 1.      How the ‘consultation’ has been handled

A number of angling representatives attended the NRW Board Meeting at Canolfan Cae Cymro, Clawdd Newydd on 9th July 2015 following fears that the agenda item “Management Options to Address the Decline in Stocks of Salmon and Some Sea Trout in Wales” could potentially result in a decision being made without ever being discussed by Local Fisheries Advisory Groups. Having contacted the then chairman, Peter Matthews, in advance of the meeting, we were grateful that he took the decision to move the agenda item until after the coffee break so that we had the opportunity to speak to board members prior to the issue being discussed.

The relevant board paper shows that there were already concerns about how their proposals would be perceived:

External Communications and stakeholder engagement

Risks

34. Criticism of the approach to the consultation.

35. Concerns about the impact of the decision on angling in Wales.

38. Potential need to re-direct or increase fisheries enforcement resources to enforce any new regulation.

41. There has been some dis-content following the consultation and implementation of actions following the review of hatcheries and stocking in Wales. This is because of a perception of pre-determination.

42. There is also significant concern amongst some stakeholders about our commitment to fisheries management and enforcement, as indicated by submissions to the WG scrutiny process.

43. We will prepare a fisheries communications plan to seek to engage stakeholders in deciding the management options necessary to address the decline in stocks of salmon and some sea trout at the same time seeking to address wider fisheries concerns.”

 “This is a difficult issue because of the radical nature of the measures proposed, and it will be unpopular.”

 “We do not consider that angling or netting in our coastal waters is the cause of the decline in salmon stocks, however restraint here is required to increase the spawning stocks whilst habitat repair and improvements works, following the principle of natural resource management, proceed.”

“Further restrictions on fishing will be unpopular with most and we need a strategy to deal with this.”

 During the ensuing discussion one board member made the point that the introduction of the national spring salmon measures in 1999, which requires all rod caught salmon to be released prior to June 16th, had done nothing to address declining stocks and therefore how were these proposals going to do anything different.

In closing the discussion the chairman stated that he “hoped that their aims could be achieved without resorting to statutory legislation” and yet 15 months, more meetings and a “consultation” later the proposals are to introduce Mandatory Catch and Release via statutory legislation. It is little wonder that NRW were concerned that there would be “Criticism of the approach to the consultation” and that anglers have “a perception of pre-determination”.

Angling representatives did have the opportunity to voice their concerns at the Joint Dee and Clwyd and Gwynedd Local Fisheries Advisory Group Meeting at Coed-y-Brenin on 24th November 2015 and this was followed by a written questionnaire (which many felt had questions loaded to obtain the desired outcome) which concluded on 31st January 2016. Despite spending considerable amount of time in both attending the meeting and developing our own responses to the questionnaire it would seem that yet again NRW have chosen to dismiss our responses out of hand, showing no desire to develop and implement any form of alternative conservation strategy.

NRW may profess that it “aims to deliver widespread and positive partnership working” but sadly there is no evidence of it in this instance.

  1. 2.      Concerns surrounding the data used to inform this decision

Whilst it is “…. a statutory requirement for anglers and netsmen to submit catch returns, and the rod catch data is used to assess the status of stocks of both species”, this data is less than robust. During the period 2010 to 2014 an average of 62.8% of anglers submitted a catch return and there is therefore a gaping hole in the figures.

A comparison of the total number of salmon caught between 2010 & 2014 on the 3 main fisheries on the Afon Dyfi (where accurate records are maintained), shows that on average the number of salmon recorded by the official statistics (Salmonid and Freshwater Fisheries Statistics for England and Wales) is 31.17% lower, mirroring what has already been proved in North West England. The actual fisheries total does not include a number of other private stretches and it is highly likely that the discrepancy is even greater! The actual figures are shown in the table below:

 

Combined NDFA/PAAS/BrigandsTotal

 Salmonid and Freshwater Fisheries
Statistics for England & Wales Total

%age Difference

2010

269

168

37.55

2011

209

188

10.05

2012

154

116

24.68

2013

83

44

46.99

2014

41

26

36.59

 

5 Year Average

31.17

When it comes to Sea Trout the data is even more flawed. Anglers are asked to record the number of days that they have fished each river before and after 16th June. Other than anyone who keeps a meticulous fishing diary, the vast majority of anglers hazard a wild guess. Even then it is debatable what constitutes a day’s fishing. Some anglers fish for an hour or less and record it as a day while others will only record a full day. It is hopelessly flawed and inaccurate and yet this is what informs the ‘Catch per Unit Effort’ which is used to assess whether sea trout stocks are at risk.

To quote NRW:

“……….. (sea trout) assessment is less robust than that for salmon as we have no corresponding biologically-based assessment process. This assessment is therefore based on long-term trends in catch per unit effort.”

“We do not currently have a decision structure for sea trout. This is because we have no comparable method to set egg deposition targets or to assess compliance with any such target. Instead the sea trout assessment tool uses recent trends in catch per unit effort to determine the status of stocks and their temporal trends. Catch over the most recent 3-year period is compared to a reference period of the previous 10 years and categories of risk are assigned depending on the performance of the fishery.”

“In Wales, NRW has also unilaterally applied a principle that a period of three consecutive years ‘At Risk’ or ‘Probably at Risk’ (declining) can be applied to any stock prior to developing statutory fishing controls.”

And so, based on a wild guess as to many ‘days’ 62.8% of fishermen think they have spent on the river, NRW’s 2015 ‘Know Your River – Mawddach Salmon & Sea Trout Catchment Summary’ is able to state that “……..the Mawddach is classified as “probably at risk”; i.e. the fishery appears to be performing reasonably well with no immediate concerns about the status of the adult stock” (those are the words used in the document), which in turn leads to the proposal to introduce Mandatory Catch & Release for a 10 year period.

Furthermore, whilst we appreciate that there are real concerns about salmon numbers, it should also be recognised that drought conditions in 2013, 2014 and autumn 2015 have had a major impact on both the timings of movements of migratory fish and angling effort and this in turn has resulted in depressed catches.

No doubt the 2015 Juvenile Salmonid Summary conducted by NRW will be quoted as further evidence to inform the introduction of Mandatory C & R. However we again have real concerns that just 3 monitoring sites can give us a true picture of what is going on within the catchment, particularly when NRW itself makes the statement that “The Mawddach site is very large and catch efficiency is low”. Although we were fearful of the potential impacts of the severe winter floods in December 2015, which will no doubt have washed out redds and caused juvenile fish to migrate within the catchment, anglers have been encouraged by the significant numbers of both parr and fry observed in other locations such as the Afon Aran and tidal areas of both Mawddach & Wnion.

  1. 3.      The impact of banning worm fishing

NRW intends to ban worm fishing as part of its measures. This causes issues in 2 distinct areas of both the Mawddach & Wnion.

On the upper reaches of both rivers worm fishing is the only effective method of fishing. Spinning is restricted to a few areas and fly fishing all but impossible. To ban worm fishing is effectively to ban angling and as a consequence there would be little point in continuing to rent those waters. One angling club alone pays rents totalling £13,842 on such waters and this money would effectively be removed from the local economy. Furthermore with no legitimate anglers present on the river there is no deterrent for would be poachers and no ‘intelligence gathering’ for NRW’s hardworking but woefully understaffed enforcement team.

On the tidal waters the effects are very different. Here a significant number of elderly and/or less able anglers, local and visiting alike, spend their time on the riverbank during the summer months. These anglers are not physically able to use any method other than worm fishing and so their fishing days are ended at a stroke. So much for the socio-economic benefits of angling.

  1. 4.      The impact on angling tourism and the local economy and environment

One of our greatest concerns is the impact of these proposals on the local tourist economy. NRW of course is well aware of this as is evidenced by the following quotes:

  1.                                 i.            “Salmon and sea trout are iconic and important species in our rivers. They support recreational fisheries that bring economic benefit (in excess of £74 million annual expenditure in Wales, supporting around 1,500 Welsh jobs and £32 million in household income, Mawle and Peirson, 2009), often to rural communities”
  2.                               ii.            “Welsh Government has set objectives for NRW to contribute to objectives for freshwater fisheries management, broadly by promotion of the conservation and maintenance of the diversity of migratory and freshwater fish, and by enhancing the contribution that migratory and freshwater fisheries make to the economy, particularly in remote rural areas and in areas with low levels of income.”
  3.                             iii.            “We need to manage our natural resources in a way that provides multiple benefits for people and nature now and in the future. As part of that we need to ensure that fish stocks are managed sustainably to provide maximum socio-economic benefits.”
  4.                              iv.            “We have a range of roles and duties for fisheries that are relevant to our management of salmon and sea trout stocks, noting that policy responsibility for Welsh fisheries is devolved to WG.
  • to enhance the contribution that fish make to the economy, particularly in rural areas
  • to enhance the social value of fishing as a healthy form of recreation”

One caravan site adjacent to the Mawddach has a total of 24 static caravans and 7 permanent touring caravans which are owned by visiting anglers who are members of Dolgellau Angling Association and/or Prince Albert Angling Society. These anglers pay a total of £24,623.59 to the site owner which includes £4,421.35 in rates to the local authority. This figure does not include ‘short stay’ visiting anglers and there are many other caravan sites, both in the Dolgellau are and across Wales, where anglers make similar contributions. The total spend in local shops, restaurants, petrol stations and tourist attractions etc is immense.

A questionnaire survey of 70 anglers on the Mawddach in 2010 (All of the original survey and analysis sheets are available for inspection should anyone wish to question the validity of the data) showed that only 22.86% of anglers would continue to fish if Mandatory C&R was introduced (a number of these were local anglers who said that they would only buy a trout licence in the circumstances). There is nothing to suggest that this will have changed in 2016 and this, in conjunction with the previous figures, highlights the threat to the local economy and environment from a decline in angling tourism.

Both angling clubs also spend considerable sums of money in the local economy in order to maintain their waters. During 2016 that total is well in excess of £3500, spread across a variety of businesses including Huws Gray (Dolgellau), Wynnstay (Dolgellau), Travis Perkins (Machynlleth), Major Owen (Penrhyndeudraeth) and Coleg Meirion Dwyfor (Glynllifon). Riparian owners have also spent in excess of £2000 in recent years for the same purpose.

We also make a significant contribution to the local environment by tackling both Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam on the banks of both the Mawddach & Wnion. Both angling clubs are currently involved in a partnership project with the local Rotary Club and Snowdonia National Park which is delivering a catchment based approach. This is both skilled (members have undergone the appropriate City & Guilds Training in their own time) and physical work and it is hard to see where the will and motivation to continue will come from if anglers feel that they have been driven off the rivers.

We have also participated in partnership working with NRW in order to deliver habitat improvement schemes in order to improve the juvenile recruitment of both salmon and sea trout within the catchment of both rivers. Again enthusiasm and commitment can only be stifled by NRW’s proposals.

  1. 5.      Why we oppose the introduction of Mandatory Catch & Release

We are fully supportive of measures to conserve our stocks of salmon and sea trout; what we disagree with is how this is being conducted. We know that Mandatory C&R drives anglers away, one only has to look on the banks of the Welsh Dee and Severn prior to June 16th to see that anglers are indeed an endangered species.

The ‘Background Salmon Report 2014 (CEFAS EA NRW)’ provides clear evidence to support this:

  • “On average, pre-June catches, including fish released, comprised 11% of the total declared rod catch in the five years prior to the measures (1994–1998), while this has fallen to a mean of less than 6% since 1999.
  • Changes in rod licence costs and the imposition of compulsory catch-and-release may also have affected the take-up of licences and effort.
  • The national spring salmon measures, ban on sale of rod-caught fish and catch and release requirements are all thought to have influenced angling effort in recent years.
  • the number of annual licences has changed more markedly, decreasing from ~27,000 in 1994 to ~15,000 in 2001 (down 44%), mainly due to the decline in salmon stocks and the introduction of restrictions on angling, especially those to protect early-run MSW fish (compulsory catch and release before 16 June)”.

The 2015 document adds further evidence: “The number of days fished by anglers in Wales has fallen by 50% since 1994”.

Unfortunately what NRW are failing to grasp is that Mandatory C&R drives anglers away and this was perhaps best illustrated when NRW Principal Fisheries Advisor, Peter Gough stated at the joint Dee & Gwynedd LFAG held at Coed y Brenin visitor centre on Tuesday 24th November 2015, that anglers would continue to fish because they are already putting 80% of their fish back anyway. This completely misses the point! Anglers will fish and return most, and in some cases all, of their fish but when they are told that they cannot even retain one fish, the majority stop fishing altogether.

So why are anglers so vital to the survival of our salmon and sea trout stocks?

  • Firstly anglers have a vested interest in the stocks of migratory fish. To the ordinary member of the public the countryside of Wales is just as attractive whether there are any fish swimming in the rivers or not. Unfortunately fish are not as visible and do not have the same appeal to the general public as many mammals.
  • Secondly the presence of anglers on the riverbank acts as a deterrent to poachers. If we drive anglers away fewer fish will survive to spawn.
  • Thirdly those anglers are the eyes and ears that provide intelligence for NRW’s Enforcement Officers (who we have the utmost respect for). We are sure that NRW’s records will indicate that the percentage of calls that from anglers far exceeds that from the general public. Without intelligence an already overstretched Enforcement Team cannot hope to protect our fish stocks, indeed they have consistently implored anglers in recent times to provide good intelligence. Indeed when we surveyed 70 anglers on the Mawddach in 2010 75.71% of anglers told us that they had never been approached on the riverbank by an Environment Agency Wales bailiff whilst fishing the Mawddach and Wnion during the previous 5 years. With the Enforcement Team reduced further since that date it is patently obvious that fish stocks cannot be protected effectively unless we work in partnership with one another. Indeed if Mandatory Catch and Release is introduced, NRW Enforcement Officers cannot police it. On the other hand, angling organisations can, and do, police their own rules both through club bailiffs and peer pressure from other members.
  • Fourthly with the closure of hatcheries and ending of third party stocking, habitat improvement has an even more significant role in the restoration of fish stocks. River Trusts and organisations such as our own are keen to work in partnership with NRW to deliver this work. However it is going to be much more difficult to recruit volunteers when anglers either feel that they are not being listened to or have decided to fish elsewhere.
  • Fifthly there has been a steady increase in the number of predators which are a threat to both adult and juvenile salmonids. A particular problem has been with cormorants, mergansers & goosanders and it is largely angling organisations that have applied for culling licences. If anglers are driven away predator numbers will increase with a corresponding reduction in the fish population.
  • Sixthly the revenue from migratory fish licences is vital to fund both habitat improvement and to provide resources to protect fish stocks. With fewer licences sold, those anglers who remain deciding to purchase only a trout licence (the cost of a full licence is set to rise from £72 to £82 in 2017) there can only be less money available to improve matters

We as anglers are also particularly frustrated that NRW is proposing to change the ruling from no catch restrictions at all to 100% release, without any intermediate measures to protect stocks adequately. NRW does however acknowledge that angling clubs have introduced their own conservation measures:

“There have been great advances in the uptake of voluntary catch-and-release (C&R) fishing by anglers across Wales, moving from close to zero two decades ago to a declared Welsh national average in 2014 of about 78% for salmon and sea trout.”

“Non-statutory restrictions on methods and fishing areas imposed by fishery owners and angling associations include weekly and seasonal bag limits, and there are ongoing efforts to promote catch and release (C&R). As a consequence, the proportion of salmon released by anglers has increased steadily from 10% in 1993 to at or above 60% in the last six years (79%, provisionally, in 2015, the highest in the time series)”.

In 2010 we asked Environment Agency Wales to consider a tagging system for the Mawddach, similar to that which is used on the Ribble in England. We were told that it would be better for angling clubs to introduce and police their own conservation measures as the agency did not have the staff to operate such a scheme. The Environment Agency in England ultimately passed a specific bylaw to reinforce the tagging scheme which has mainly been policed by angling associations. The Ribble has benefitted from this scheme with lower exploitation rates and a less marked decline than nearby rivers such as the Lune and Welsh Dee. It clearly works!

We feel that the local community must be made aware of the consequences of NRW’s proposals. As has already been stated angling organisations have taken a responsible stance and sought to conserve fish stocks by introducing and policing their own rules, whilst NRW has stood on the side lines and then stepped in at the eleventh hour with a simplistic, “what more can we do?” solution that incurs little cost and which they do not have the means to police.

Anglers want to work in a real partnership and that of course is a 2 way process. The way forward is to engage anglers and promote the education process that has already seen Voluntary C&R rise to unprecedented levels. NRW must not be allowed to stubbornly proceed with its doctrinal and draconian proposals which have already been tried and tested and proved to be ineffectual in the restoration of fish stocks and which will only serve to drive anglers away from Welsh rivers and thereby further threaten fish stocks and reduce income derived from tourism.

Yours sincerely

 

John Eardley – Gwynedd Local Fisheries Advisory Group Representative – Prince Albert Angling Society

Gavin Jones – Secretary, Dolgellau Angling Association

Charlie Abbott – Riparian Owner, Afon Mawddach

Hywel Bromley Davenport – Riparian Owner, Afon Mawddach

 

Happy Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year

Whilst we have not made the headlines recently, you can be assured that we are working on our next big campaign issue. We hope that you will join the Angling Trust and encourage your clubs and syndicates to do the same.  Welsh game anglers are seriously lacking support or representation at government level and the Angling Trust has agreed to take up the mantle on our behalf. They can only do this if we support them by formally joining them. PLEASE DO. Thank you. Tight lines for 2017.

Major pollution incident on River Teifi

One has to wonder how this destruction will be made good now Welsh hatcheries have been closed. Its a long way to Cynrig and brood stock will be difficult to acquire. We look forward to hearing what NRW will do.

 

Angling Trust Media ReleaseWednesday, 21st December, 2016 Angling Trust Logo
Major pollution incident on River Teifi highlights national failure of government to tackle agricultural pollutionThis week the River Teifi in Wales, which was once one of the premier salmon and sea trout rivers in the UK, was polluted with farm slurry and hundreds, possibly thousands, of fish have been killed.  The impact on fish stocks is likely to be very severe for up to a decade, and thousands of both local and visiting anglers who bring money into the Welsh economy will have their sport destroyed.Fish Legal, a membership association for angling clubs and fishery owners, is fighting more than 60 legal cases throughout the UK and is investigating the Teifi pollution case to see if it can make a compensation claim for its member angling clubs and riparian owners who have been affected.  However, many elderly anglers who have fished the river all their lives may not live to see it restored to its former glory.  Thousands of anglers on internet forums have expressed their fury in the past two days about the pollution of this beautiful river.This tragic incident is the latest in a rising tide of major pollutions from farms affecting rivers in England and Wales.  Government figures show that farming is now the top cause of major pollution incidents and also the principal cause of the general malaise affecting the majority of rivers.  The Angling Trust has repeatedly called for tougher regulation of farmers for more than five years, including earlier this month on BBC Countryfile, but governments in Westminster and Cardiff have chosen to take a light touch to regulation.

The Angling Trust is, coincidentally, this week responding to a consultation from Welsh Assembly Government about a proposal to define the whole of Wales as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone, which would place greater restrictions on spreading slurry and other damaging farm practices, but further action is required to get the agricultural industry, which receives approximately £3 billion of taxpayers money each year, to stop polluting rivers.  The Trust will be writing to the Welsh Assembly Government calling on it to take urgent action.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: “Anglers have had enough of seeing our precious rivers destroyed due to a lack of care and attention by farmers who are receiving billions in subsidies each year from hard pressed taxpayers.  Our organisations repeat our call to governments to get serious about farm pollution and to take tough regulatory action to ensure that watercourses are not polluted with slurry, pesticides, fertiliser and soil.  It is their duty to protect fish and the host of other wildlife that relies on clean water and healthy habitats, which they are failing to deliver.  We need a complete rethink of the way that farming is regulated, and we need it now.”

- ENDS - 

________________________________________

Media contact: Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, on 07973 468198.

Photo: The pollution incident on the River Teifi in Wales has killed hundreds and possibly thousands of fish, including salmon and sea trout.

Notes to editors: 

Details around the consultation on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones in Wales is available here, while the Angling Trust’s response can be found here.

Information about pollution incidents in England and Wales.

Angling Trust:

The Angling Trust is the national representative and governing body for angling in England. It is united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK.

Find out all about the Angling Trust and its work at www.anglingtrust.net or call us on 01568 620447.

The pollution incident on the River Teifi in Wales has killed hundreds and possibly thousands of fish, including salmon and sea trout.

Swansea Bay lagoon: NRW gives evidence on the potential damage to fish stocks

Thursday, 8th December, 2016

 Fish Legal Media Release Fish Legal
Government Agency Highlights ‘Major Adverse Effect’ on Fish from Proposed Tidal LagoonNatural Resources Wales (NRW) has revealed that, on the best available evidence, the proposed tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay could have a ‘major adverse effect’ on migratory fish due to injury as they pass through the turbines.Plan for the proposed tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay.In a letter to consultees, NRW estimates that 21% of salmon and 25% of sea trout, species of national importance, could be killed every year as they migrate to and from local rivers, mainly the Tawe, Neath and Afan.  These estimates are far higher than the numbers provided by Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay (TLSB), the company promoting the scheme.  TLSB has consistently claimed to the Angling Trust and Fish Legal and in their various planning applications that the impact on fisheries would be minor.

The information emerged just before the delivery to Ministers of the Hendry Review which was commissioned by the government to consider whether or not the proposed lagoons represent good value for money for electricity bill payers over the next century, and a Westminster Hall debate in parliament about lagoons this week.  Publication of the review is expected at the end of the year.

Smaller impacts are predicted on other migratory fish species but since these include shad, lamprey and eel which are deemed of international importance, these are also classed as “major adverse effects” by NRW.  Moderate adverse effects are also predicted for some sea fish, namely cod, whiting and sandeel.

The predicted potential impact levels will be used by NRW in its determination of a Marine Licence which is required before the lagoon can be built, in the event that the government does deem the scheme good value for money.   The developers have presented their business case around the construction of multiple lagoons including three, Cardiff, Newport and Bridgwater Bay, in the highly protected Severn Estuary. The impact of lagoons on fish will be a major consideration in the viability of these schemes, which would affect salmon, sea trout, shad, eels and lamprey migrating to and from the Rivers Wye and Usk. Both rivers have the highest level of international environmental protection designation. Other rivers would also be affected, including the Severn itself.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal said: “Working with local angling clubs, we have continually challenged TLSB’s assurances about the likely impact on fish from passing through the turbines and we welcome this statement from NRW which reveals the true impact of this highly risky scheme, using untested technology in a very sensitive environment.  Fish are likely to be affected in other ways as well, including increased vulnerability to predation and having their migration critically delayed by being trapped inside the lagoon.  We have expressed concerns about the various impacts of a lagoon in Swansea Bay on fish and TLSB’s ability to mitigate these or even to monitor them effectively.  NRW’s conclusions must cast doubt not only on the viability of the lagoon in Swansea Bay but of those proposed in even more environmentally sensitive areas near Cardiff, elsewhere in the Severn Estuary and around the UK coastline.”

 

Gravel trap to encourage salmon to spawn on the River Tryweryn

What a pleasure it is to be able to make a really positive post about NRW on this site.

Click on the link below to see a short video of the newly constructed gravel trap on the River Tryweryn, a major tributary of the Welsh River Dee. The boulder dam holds back the waters of the river to increase the depth of the water  behind the dam, the additional depth has been filled with about 200 tonnes of gravel,  which form about one thousand square meters of potential spawning area for the fish. The results will, it is hoped, be apparent when next years spawning takes place.

Gravel trap to encourage salmon to spawn on the River Tryweryn

If St Asaph floods again Natural Resources Wales won't cope, claims industry insider

But a source, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Daily Post: “There is a shortfall in resources (staff) in flood defence, especially at the Rhuddlan depot.

“If we are to be subject to a serious flood like what we had at St Asaph – backed up by high tides – they haven’t the manpower to cover it. They can’t staff it.

“There have been early retirements at very enhanced rates. Flood defence is a concern if we have very serious floods.”

The source also said there were concerns about the shortage of water bailiffs being employed to catch poachers.

“They have laid off so many men,” he said.

“There’s one man in Machynlleth covering fisheries and environment crime in south Meirionnydd, the upper Severn and Aberystwyth.”

The insider said the NRW’s possible explanation for fewer water bailiffs would be because it was now acting on “intelligence-led” information.

He added that concerns about staff shortages had now come to the attention of Environment Minister and Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths, who had called in NRW managers to explain the problems.

In response, Sian Williams, NRW’s North Wales head of operations, said: “While it is true that we have reduced the number of people we employ during recent years, reducing flood risk for people and looking after migratory fish in our rivers remain priorities for us.

“We are aware of the high risks flooding can bring to our communities, and are currently reviewing our capacity with the intention of boosting staff numbers during the winter months.

A repeat of the devastating 2012 floods in St Asaph would be more difficult to tackle because of staff cuts, an insider has claimed.

One woman drowned and nearly 400 people were forced from their homes in the floods which devastated the city.

This autumn, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru/ Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is spending £3m on replacing Spring Gardens Bridge with a wider bridge and improving flood defences.

But a source, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Daily Post: “There is a shortfall in resources (staff) in flood defence, especially at the Rhuddlan depot.

“If we are to be subject to a serious flood like what we had at St Asaph – backed up by high tides – they haven’t the manpower to cover it. They can’t staff it.

“There have been early retirements at very enhanced rates. Flood defence is a concern if we have very serious floods.”

The source also said there were concerns about the shortage of water bailiffs being employed to catch poachers.

“They have laid off so many men,” he said.

“There’s one man in Machynlleth covering fisheries and environment crime in south Meirionnydd, the upper Severn and Aberystwyth.”

The insider said the NRW’s possible explanation for fewer water bailiffs would be because it was now acting on “intelligence-led” information.

He added that concerns about staff shortages had now come to the attention of Environment Minister and Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths, who had called in NRW managers to explain the problems.

In response, Sian Williams, NRW’s North Wales head of operations, said: “While it is true that we have reduced the number of people we employ during recent years, reducing flood risk for people and looking after migratory fish in our rivers remain priorities for us.

“We are aware of the high risks flooding can bring to our communities, and are currently reviewing our capacity with the intention of boosting staff numbers during the winter months.

“It’s also important to understand that, while we work to reduce the risk of flooding, we can’t prevent it from happening altogether.

“When flooding does threaten, we provide flood warnings for communities at risk so people can prepare appropriately.

“Changing times and a reducing budget mean that the days when bailiffs walked up and down our riverbanks are gone, and they are unlikely to return.

“We have not reduced the number of fisheries enforcement officers for several years, but may review the areas they work from time to time due to changes in demand.

“It is incorrect to say that large-scale poaching is devastating our rivers.

“Decades of enforcement action has reduced the number of serious cases drastically.

“Despite rumours and allegations, there is no evidence to show that the large-scale poaching of previous decades is an ongoing problem.

“We obviously remain vigilant and take any reports seriously.

“A number of cases of illegal fishing do end up in court every year in north Wales.”

Virulent disease at Marine Harvest salmon farms raises concerns over potential impacts on wild fish

Salmon & Trout Conservation UK

 

28/10/2016

Integrity of Special Area of Conservation for wild salmon on Harris under threat. Other important wild fisheries also at risk.

Integrity of Special Area of Conservation for wild salmon on Harris under threat. Other important wild fisheries also at risk

Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland calls on Scottish Government to intervene to protect wild fish

Marine Harvest salmon farms in the Hebrides and Wester Ross are currently host to rampant Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD), which can cause severe losses amongst affected fish. At least four sites are impacted including West Loch Tarbert and East Loch Tarbert on Harris, Loch Greshornish on Skye and the Isle of Ewe in Wester Ross. Up to 25 per cent of the fish at the afflicted sites are understood to have been lost, with hundreds of thousands of mortalities transported to Wigan (Greater Manchester) for incineration.

Marine Harvest is struggling to manage the situation and has been slow to admit the extent of the problems. AGD is a very unpleasant disease which causes asphyxia; many fish then suffocate to death. Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) is adamant that the Scottish Government should act now to protect wild fish.

Whilst Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate (http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0039/00393037.pdf) states that AGD is “occasionally recorded on wild salmon without causing significant pathology”, it concedes that there is a “difficulty of obtaining samples for disease diagnosis in wild fish”. Juvenile wild salmon (smolts) migrate from their rivers in the spring, passing through the coastal zone, before heading out to sea. If they are infected as they swim past disease-harbouring farms, it is impossible to monitor their fate.

Paul Hopper, Senior Biologist at the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust (OHFT), explained:

“If AGD is still present next spring, wild salmon smolts on their outward migration to sea could be put at risk. Unlike with fish farms it is very difficult to obtain samples of wild fish at sea and hence gauge any impact on wild populations. Incidents of the disease have been recorded in Scotland at water temperatures as low as 7.5°C and accordingly we cannot rely on a drop in sea water temperature to help alleviate the situation imminently.”

Mr Hopper added:

“We are extremely concerned about AGD in West Loch Tarbert as well as the earlier lack of communication on this outbreak from the company involved. Having now held meetings with the local fish farmers, we have been reassured that the industry is working hard to improve the situation through treatments and careful management of their stocks. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is for the aquaculture industry to report incidences of diseases like AGD without delay so that all stakeholders can immediately work together to protect both farmed and already threatened wild fish stocks.”

Marine Harvest’s West Loch Tarbert farm is adjacent to the North Harris Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for Atlantic salmon.

Innes Morrison, Clerk to the Western Isles Fishery Board and Factor at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate (with the fishings in the North Harris SAC), noted:

“We are very concerned that, if the disease is not eradicated by the spring, the migrating juvenile salmon from our SAC rivers will be vulnerable to deadly infection. In the meantime our sea trout, which remain in coastal waters, will surely be prone to infection. The salmon farming industry in the Western Isles seems to lurch from crisis to crisis – with both disease and sea lice epidemics – and yet virtually all applications for new farms or expansions are still being rubber-stamped by the local council with little if any concern for the environmental impact.”

Major mortalities due to AGD have now also been confirmed by the Fish Health Inspectorate at Marine Harvest’s site at Isle of Ewe in Wester Ross.

Bill Whyte, Chairman of the Wester Ross Area Salmon Fishery Board, said:

“The cloak of secrecy surrounding the presence of AGD at Marine Harvest’s farm in Loch Ewe is inexcusable. This outbreak of AGD must surely prompt further questions as to the suitability and viability of Loch Ewe for salmon farming. Prior to the arrival of the industry in Loch Ewe, the Loch Maree system was an iconic fishery for both wild salmon and sea trout.”

Andrew Graham-Stewart, Director of Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS), said:

“If any terrestrial farming industry was beset by a similarly rampant and highly contagious disease, the authorities would step in immediately and ruthlessly cull all affected stocks. But because the tens of thousands of fish affected by and dying from AGD are unseen beneath the waves, the Scottish Government adopts a laissez-faire approach. Leaving aside the suffering caused to the fish in the cages, given the potential risks identified by local wild fish experts and the apparent inability of Marine Harvest to eradicate the disease, surely the Government now has a responsibility to intervene and order the immediate slaughter of the farmed stocks in question.”

A further concern amongst wild fish experts – with implications for wild salmon and sea trout – is the reluctance of salmon farm managers to treat AGD-affected fish against sea lice as the chemicals used may cause additional stress and thus exacerbate the incidence of AGD.

ENDS

 

Auto Draft

Herald Scotland

Alert over salmon deaths crisis on Scots fish farms caused by infectious disease

Alert over salmon deaths crisis on Scots fish farms caused by infectious diseaseAlert over salmon deaths crisis on Scots fish farms caused by infectious disease

1 day ago / Martin Williams , Senior News Reporter / @MWilliamsHT

CONSERVATIONISTS have called for government action after raising concerns that hundreds of thousands of fish have died from an infectious disease in salmon farms in Hebrides and Wester Ross.

The Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland has called on Scottish ministers to intervene to protect wild fish after an outbreak of Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD).

It is understood that four farm sites have been affected including West Loch Tarbert and East Loch Tarbert on Harris, Loch Greshornish on Skye and the Isle of Ewe in Wester Ross. Marine Harvest salmon farms have been particularly affected, it is said.

The news comes just two weeks after Prince Charles visited the Marine Harvest salmon farm in Kinlochleven the Highlands to observe work on its “cleaner fish” project.

Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland said that up to 25 per cent of the stock at the afflicted sites are understood to have been lost, with dead fish transported to Wigan in Greater Manchester for incineration.

Herald Scotland:

Earlier this month Paul Hopper, senior biologist at the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust (OHFT) urged fish farmers to keep communication lines open with farmed salmon reported to be locked in the grip of a severe bout of amoebic gill disease and sea lice.

He said that despite it being common knowledge the disease was claiming “substantial numbers” of farmed salmon it had taken some time before fish farmers contacted the OHFT.

S&TCS claimed Marine Harvest was “struggling to manage the situation and has been slow to admit the extent of the problems”.

It said: “AGD is a very unpleasant disease which causes asphyxia; many fish then suffocate to death. S&TCS is adamant that the Scottish Government should act now to protect wild fish.

Mr Hopper warned that incidents of the disease have been recorded in Scotland at water temperatures as low as 7.5°C and so they cannot rely on a drop in sea water temperature to help alleviate the situation imminently.

Herald Scotland:

He said: “We are extremely concerned about AGD in West Loch Tarbert as well as the earlier lack of communication on this outbreak from the company involved.

“Having now held meetings with the local fish farmers, we have been reassured that the industry is working hard to improve the situation through treatments and careful management of their stocks.

“We cannot emphasise enough how important it is for the aquaculture industry to report incidences of diseases like AGD without delay so that all stakeholders can immediately work together to protect both farmed and already threatened wild fish stocks.”

Marine Harvest’s West Loch Tarbert farm is close to the North Harris Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for Atlantic salmon.

Herald Scotland:

Innes Morrison, clerk to the Western Isles Fishery Board and factor at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate said: ” “We are very concerned that, if the disease is not eradicated by the spring, the migrating juvenile salmon from our SAC rivers will be vulnerable to deadly infection.

“In the meantime our sea trout, which remain in coastal waters, will surely be prone to infection. The salmon farming industry in the Western Isles seems to lurch from crisis to crisis – with both disease and sea lice epidemics – and yet virtually all applications for new farms or expansions are still being rubber-stamped by the local council with little if any concern for the environmental impact.”

Bill Whyte, chairman of the Wester Ross Area Salmon Fishery Board, added: “The cloak of secrecy surrounding the presence of AGD at Marine Harvest’s farm in Loch Ewe is inexcusable. This outbreak of AGD must surely prompt further questions as to the suitability and viability of Loch Ewe for salmon farming. Prior to the arrival of the industry in Loch Ewe, the Loch Maree system was an iconic fishery for both wild salmon and sea trout.”

Andrew Graham-Stewart, director of S&TCS, said: “If any terrestrial farming industry was beset by a similarly rampant and highly contagious disease, the authorities would step in immediately and ruthlessly cull all affected stocks.

“But because the fish affected by and dying from AGD are unseen beneath the waves, the Scottish Government adopts a laissez-faire approach. Leaving aside the suffering caused to the fish in the cages, given the potential risks identified by local wild fish experts and the apparent inability of Marine Harvest to eradicate the disease, surely the Government now has a responsibility to intervene and order the immediate slaughter of the farmed stocks in question.”

Steve Bracken, business support manager at Marine Harvest (Scotland) Ltd, said they believe the problem can be kept under control.

“In common with many of the challenges we face as salmon farmers, Amoebic Gill Disease is naturally occurring. It is a result of higher sea temperatures and levels of salinity which are becoming more usual due to climate change.

“We have had challenges in the Western Isles and some mainland sites with AGD during the summer and autumn months but once the sea temperature gets colder the disease lessens and we expect to be clear of it.

“At Marine Harvest we are continuously looking at ways to maintain the health and wellbeing of our salmon. Our experience has been that the best cure for AGD is fresh water which we need more of to resist the disease. We recently acquired a new wellboat with its own desalination plant to turn sea water into fresh water which we use to bathe the salmon and help prevent AGD getting a hold.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate has received reports of fish mortality associated with gill disease from fish farm sites in the Western Isles and are aware of on-going biological challenges in the area.

“Investigations are ongoing and the Fish Health Inspectorate are currently monitoring the situation.”

Virulent disease at Marine Harvest salmon farms raises concerns over potential impacts on wild fish

Salmon & Trout Conservation UK

28/10/2016

Integrity of Special Area of Conservation for wild salmon on Harris under threat. Other important wild fisheries also at risk.

Integrity of Special Area of Conservation for wild salmon on Harris under threat. Other important wild fisheries also at risk

Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland calls on Scottish Government to intervene to protect wild fish

Marine Harvest salmon farms in the Hebrides and Wester Ross are currently host to rampant Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD), which can cause severe losses amongst affected fish. At least four sites are impacted including West Loch Tarbert and East Loch Tarbert on Harris, Loch Greshornish on Skye and the Isle of Ewe in Wester Ross. Up to 25 per cent of the fish at the afflicted sites are understood to have been lost, with hundreds of thousands of mortalities transported to Wigan (Greater Manchester) for incineration.

Marine Harvest is struggling to manage the situation and has been slow to admit the extent of the problems. AGD is a very unpleasant disease which causes asphyxia; many fish then suffocate to death. Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) is adamant that the Scottish Government should act now to protect wild fish.

Whilst Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate (http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0039/00393037.pdf) states that AGD is “occasionally recorded on wild salmon without causing significant pathology”, it concedes that there is a “difficulty of obtaining samples for disease diagnosis in wild fish”. Juvenile wild salmon (smolts) migrate from their rivers in the spring, passing through the coastal zone, before heading out to sea. If they are infected as they swim past disease-harbouring farms, it is impossible to monitor their fate.

Paul Hopper, Senior Biologist at the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust (OHFT), explained:

“If AGD is still present next spring, wild salmon smolts on their outward migration to sea could be put at risk. Unlike with fish farms it is very difficult to obtain samples of wild fish at sea and hence gauge any impact on wild populations. Incidents of the disease have been recorded in Scotland at water temperatures as low as 7.5°C and accordingly we cannot rely on a drop in sea water temperature to help alleviate the situation imminently.”

Mr Hopper added:

“We are extremely concerned about AGD in West Loch Tarbert as well as the earlier lack of communication on this outbreak from the company involved. Having now held meetings with the local fish farmers, we have been reassured that the industry is working hard to improve the situation through treatments and careful management of their stocks. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is for the aquaculture industry to report incidences of diseases like AGD without delay so that all stakeholders can immediately work together to protect both farmed and already threatened wild fish stocks.”

Marine Harvest’s West Loch Tarbert farm is adjacent to the North Harris Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for Atlantic salmon.

Innes Morrison, Clerk to the Western Isles Fishery Board and Factor at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate (with the fishings in the North Harris SAC), noted:

“We are very concerned that, if the disease is not eradicated by the spring, the migrating juvenile salmon from our SAC rivers will be vulnerable to deadly infection. In the meantime our sea trout, which remain in coastal waters, will surely be prone to infection. The salmon farming industry in the Western Isles seems to lurch from crisis to crisis – with both disease and sea lice epidemics – and yet virtually all applications for new farms or expansions are still being rubber-stamped by the local council with little if any concern for the environmental impact.”

Major mortalities due to AGD have now also been confirmed by the Fish Health Inspectorate at Marine Harvest’s site at Isle of Ewe in Wester Ross.

Bill Whyte, Chairman of the Wester Ross Area Salmon Fishery Board, said:

“The cloak of secrecy surrounding the presence of AGD at Marine Harvest’s farm in Loch Ewe is inexcusable. This outbreak of AGD must surely prompt further questions as to the suitability and viability of Loch Ewe for salmon farming. Prior to the arrival of the industry in Loch Ewe, the Loch Maree system was an iconic fishery for both wild salmon and sea trout.”

Andrew Graham-Stewart, Director of Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS), said:

“If any terrestrial farming industry was beset by a similarly rampant and highly contagious disease, the authorities would step in immediately and ruthlessly cull all affected stocks. But because the tens of thousands of fish affected by and dying from AGD are unseen beneath the waves, the Scottish Government adopts a laissez-faire approach. Leaving aside the suffering caused to the fish in the cages, given the potential risks identified by local wild fish experts and the apparent inability of Marine Harvest to eradicate the disease, surely the Government now has a responsibility to intervene and order the immediate slaughter of the farmed stocks in question.”

A further concern amongst wild fish experts – with implications for wild salmon and sea trout – is the reluctance of salmon farm managers to treat AGD-affected fish against sea lice as the chemicals used may cause additional stress and thus exacerbate the incidence of AGD.

Success! Angling Trust representing Welsh Game Anglers

 PLEASE JOIN THE ANGLING TRUST AS A CLUB AND AS INDIVIDUALS. THEY WILL FIGHT FOR WELSH GAME ANGLERS, YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENCE!

Fish Legal Media ReleaseTuesday, 11th October 2016  Displaying  Fish Legal

 

Angling Trust and Fish Legal help to see off controversial hydro scheme

Plans to build a controversial hydro scheme on the iconic Conwy Falls in the Snowdonia National Park have been withdrawn following strong objections submitted by the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, working with local member angling clubs and representatives of the ‘Save the Conwy’ campaign.

The applicant – Innogy Renewables UK Ltd – was faced with a barrage of objection from all quarters including conservationists, canoeists and anglers. The company announced that it was withdrawing its application for planning consent a week and a half after the consultation closed, stating that it had made the decision after being asked for further information late on.

The withdrawal means that the huge number of objections from people both locally and nationally will no longer have to be considered by the Snowdonia National Parks Authority.

The plans for the hydro scheme were originally submitted in 2015 but refused by the National Park planners due to a lack of key information. This re-submitted application therefore remains untested.

Geoff Hardy, advice lawyer with Fish Legal, said: “I was impressed at the amount of work put in from all quarters to see this misconceived project off. People seemed to concentrate on commenting on subjects they knew and cared passionately about. As a result, the objectors’ case, taken as a whole seemed to fit together like a well-cut jigsaw.”

He added: “The Angling Trust and Fish Legal are convinced that were this scheme to happen it would be a catastrophe for all fish on the Conwy but particularly the sea trout and salmon. I only hope the developer has seen sense and will now let this issue rest permanently.”

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “Fish stocks face a huge range of threats including agricultural pollution, over-abstraction of water and commercial netting. The rush to grab generous subsidies for hydropower has been yet another problem for migratory fish populations throughout the country.

“These schemes generate irrelevant amounts of energy in the grand scheme of things but they can do untold damage to fish and other wildlife, and despoil the beauty of the landscape.

“The National Park should never have entertained the possibility of permitting power generation in such a special place.”
- ENDS -
________________________________________

Press enquiries:
Please email admin@fishlegal.net or contact our main office on 01568 620447.

Photo:
Fairy Glen on the River Conwy at Betws-y-Coed. Hi-res images available.

Notes to Editors:
Fish Legal is a membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK. It is united in a collaborative relationship with the Angling Trust, the national representative and governing body for angling in England. Joint membership packages with the Angling Trust are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories.

Fish Legal was making representations on behalf of the Betws-y-Coed Anglers Club

For more information please visit the Fish Legal website: www.fishlegal.net

Find out all about the Angling Trust and its work at www.anglingtrust.net or call us on 01568 620447.

At last: the potential for representation of Welsh Game Anglers. Support the Angling Trust

I urge you please to request that your committee approve your club joining the Angling Trust, you may also wish to join as an individual. This is the big chance for Welsh game anglers and Welsh game fisheries to get representation at the very highest level.

Angling Trust Media Release

Wednesday, 21st September, 2016

 Angling Trust Media Release Angling Trust Logo
Welsh anglers to have a new voiceThe Angling Trust announced today that it will extend its role representing its growing membership of individual anglers, angling clubs, fisheries, riparian owners and tackle shop owners in Wales; something which was until now restricted to England.The role will initially be limited to a short list of issues linked to ongoing campaigns that the Angling Trust is already running: salmon netting, agricultural pollution, unlawful canoe access, tidal lagoons, commercial over-exploitation of sea bass, cormorant and goosander predation, abstraction licensing and barriers to migration.However, if there is substantial growth in membership as a result of this move, the Trust will consider taking on a full representative role as it does in England, campaigning on scores of other issues. It would then appoint new staff based in Wales and form an Angling Trust Cymru Committee.Steffan Jones, angling guide and author, said: “Welsh angling, in all its forms, needs professional representation and the Angling Trust has proved that it can do this to a very high standard from its work over the past seven years since the English angling organisations unified. I believe that every angler, whatever they fish for, should be a member of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.”A range of membership packages is available, starting at £29 a year for individuals. Angling club, fishery and riparian owner membership automatically includes a specially-designed public liability, employer’s and trustees’ insurance which is so competitive that it can save clubs and fisheries more than the cost of their membership subscription.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “Welsh angling faces some immediate and very severe threats with a widespread decline in many marine and freshwater fish stocks, the potential for legislation to impose unlimited canoe access and proposals for multiple tidal lagoons which could cause huge damage to marine and migratory fish populations. If these threats are to be fended off, anglers must have professional representation in Welsh government, as well as in Westminster and Brussels, where many decisions affecting fisheries are made. We are limited in what we can do at the moment by resources, but if lots of anglers join up, we could do much more to protect fish and fishing in England and Wales in the future.”

There are currently three separate governing bodies for angling in Wales: the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association, the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers and the Welsh Federation of Coarse Anglers. There is also an umbrella body called Angling Cymru. The Angling Trust has offered to work closely with all of these organisations, which are principally involved in running Welsh angling teams and angling development, to ensure that there is a united voice for all anglers.

ENDS -
________________________________________
Media contact:
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish legal.
mark.lloyd@anglingtrust.net   07973 468 198

Angling Trust:
The Angling Trust is the national representative and governing body for angling in England. It is united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK.

Find out all about the Angling Trust and its work at www.anglingtrust.net or call us on 01568 620447.

Join the Angling Trust online at anglingtrust.net/join or call us on 01568 620447.

Fishinginfo.co.uk:
For more information about where to fish in England and Wales, visit www.fishinginfo.co.uk

Welsh Salmon stocks threatened by decline in fry numbers

PLease see follow the link below to see the latest BBC WALES NEWS  item on this topic.

NEWS ITEM

Then pop to the ANGLING TRUST tab and see what the Environment Agency, police and Angling Trust are doing to protect English fisheries.

I despair!

salmon head shot photo salmon heads_zpsb1spiusc.png

 

Angling Trust looking after anglers in England. Who is doing the same in Wales?

Angling Trust Media Release

Thursday 28 July. Immediate Release. Angling Trust Logo

Angling Trust Represents Fish and Fishing in Post-Brexit Debate

Displaying

The Angling Trust’s Campaigns Chief Martin Salter joined environmental NGOs including the RSPB, WWF, Wildlife Trust, Marine Conservation Society and the National Trust at a special EU referendum workshop organised by Wildlife and Countryside Link on Tuesday 26th July at the Cass Business School in London. The purpose of the workshop was to explore the implications of Brexit for wildlife and the environment given that many of the protections currently in place derive from EU law and Directives. A panel of expert speakers went through the steps that need to be taken to ensure that threatened species can continue to be protected and how fisheries and the marine environment can be managed sustainably once the decision to leave the European Union is enacted.

The Angling Trust also recently organised an Angling Summit with Fisheries and Farming Minister George Eustice, who kept his post in the recent reshuffle, and Brexit was at the top of the agenda. The Minister indicated that Directives and regulations would continue in the short term, but that they might be modified to make them more relevant to domestic needs over time, and that international commitments such as the Bern Convention would remain in place. He made some welcome indications of his intentions to rationalise the farming subsidy regime to make payments conditional on protection of the water environment. There was also a discussion about marine fisheries and the possibility for more domestic regulation of inshore fisheries, despite the UK probably remaining involved in the Common Fisheries Policy.

Martin Salter said:

“This is an uncertain time in politics and the Angling Trust is working hard with our partner organisations in fisheries and the wider environmental field to ensure that the important protections that we currently enjoy through our membership of the EU are not lost once the UK leaves. We are also co-ordinating the production of a discussion paper, with input from several fisheries conservation organisations, setting out the challenges and opportunities arising from Brexit, which we will be sending to the new Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom in the next fortnight.”

Mark Lloyd, Angling Trust Chief Executive added:

“The impending prospect of Brexit clearly has a number of risks for fish, fishing and the environment which will need to be managed carefully, but at the same time there could be some significant opportunities. There is the possibility of new policies which could reduce red tape for farmers and fishery managers while getting better outcomes for the water environment, and fish in particular, but that will very much depend on the political will of Theresa May’s new government. The Angling Trust is leading the way in setting the agenda and co-ordinating a response from the large constituency of anglers. It’s now more important than ever that fish and fishing have a strong, united voice in the corridors of power; decisions made over the next few years could shape the future of our sport for the next two generations.”

Notes to Editors

Pictured: from left to right: Dominic Dyer from the Badger Trust; Dr Elaine King, Director of Wildlife and Countryside Link, which represents organisations with a combined membership of more than 8 million people; Martin Salter from the Angling Trust; Kate Jennings from the RSPB.

Link to Mark Lloyd’s Brexit blog: HERE

Contact: Mark Lloyd 07973468198 or Martin Salter 07976946033

Poachers put sewin at real risk!!!

Please have a look at this BBC News item about poaching.  NRW is being starved of funds by the Welsh Government

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-36599841