Progress

Appeal To The Welsh Assembly Government

This initial appeal war borne of shear frustration. Frustration at the lack of enforcement: so many anglers were saying how long it had been since they has seen bailiffs, I actually witnessed a poaching incident. Then the Environment Agency started on their Catch and Release initiative. Now I continue to be an active supporter of C&R, but I though it grossly unfair and unreasonable that the guardians of our fisheries, The Environment Agency Wales, were expecting us to do all the work yet they could sit back whilst allowing our fisheries to be raped. Not on, fair is fair; the idea of an Appeal was born. Then you were so supportive, vociferous in your condemnation of the current situation, so with your encouragement the Appeal was launched and Mark Isherwood A.M. presented it to the Welsh Assembly Government. This is it, just click the link and see what you started.

The Environment Agency Review 2007

 

Following the instruction to carry out a review of their enforcement activity in Wales, the Environment Agency did just that and in so doing admitted for the first time that they had no idea of the level of illegal fisheries activity, yet spent much of the document surmising what it might be and valuing the cost of poached fish to the Welsh economy. This is their report which is well worth a read and which has now set a bench mark against which we can measure our future progress/The Environment Agency Wales have now put in words their view of the enforcement situation. Judge it for yourselves.Please remember we welcome your comments.

Response To The Environment Agency Review 2007

 

Following the publication of the Environment Agency Review, we added our comments, as applicable, line by line throughout the document. We pointed out what we considered to be valid criticism of that review and added evidence, often from the Agency itself, that corroborated our comments. This detailed response, which can be viewed here was presented to the Minister (in fact, the Minister’s representative) on the steps of the Senedd last year, by a small group from the Campaign who there as thanks to Mark Isherwood A.M. who once again made the actual submission on our behalf. This document was accompanied by our second Appeal, a copy of which can be seen by following the link below.

Appeal To The Welsh Assembly Government July 2008

This is our second appeal, to which we still await a formal response other than the acknowledgements we have received thus far.Please remember this is your Campaign so if you have any comments we are pleased to receive them and will do our best to get back to you quickly.

 

Where We Are Today – July 2009

 

Well we have tried “fighting” with the Environment Agency Wales, we have tried to confront them with every possible criticism. In short we fought a battle which, in truth, we could could not win. Not for lack of effort, enthusiasm or support but because we were “fighting” the wrong “enemy”. We must take on the Welsh Assembly Government and by making and proving our point win more funding for the Agency to be able to afford to protect our fisheries. With your help we will do it.

We are now working with the Environment Agency Wales with, to his great credit, the support and encouragement of Mr Andy Schofield, Strategy and Policy Manager – Fisheries, Recreation, Conservation and Navigation, a very senior member of the of the Management of the Agency and the man against who much of the Campaigns original criticisms were perhaps by implication directed. Details of this team effort are described on this site and we look forward to you all supporting it as and when you can.

We are not ceasing our work in gathering and collating evidence of the continuing rape of our fisheries. We have to establish the extent of the abuse and bring it to the attention of the politicians. Remember they work for us, we are there masters not ‘tother way round!!

We look forward to your support, your comments and your constructive criticisms. This is your Campaign and its single aim is to secure adequate protection of our fisheries. We owe it to the future.

Thank you.

September 2010: So what has changed?

We are still here, working hard to seek sufficient funding for the proper and adequate protection of our fisheries. I am pleased to report that active membership is increasing and the Campaign working group meet regularly each month to plan the way ahead. One thing must be clear to us all: the county’s finances are in a mess. The chances of getting more funding for fisheries protection in the immediate or even medium term are less than good: nil is probably more accurate and honest. So what are we to do? We hear now of spear fishing in our salmon pools, nets being placed across the full width of our river mouths and locals bragging of their poaching successes. The Environment Agency know what is going on, where and almost when. What are they doing about it? Almost nothing! Why? Because since we started our Campaign the numbers of enforcement officers have dropped by up to 25% and we believe more cuts are due and funding is going to get even tighter, so the front line lads are doing their best under impossible conditions and cursing their lack of manpower and resources generally. However, at least they are now being honest with us. At the Local Fisheries Advisor Group Conference and “open day” at Bala earlier this year Andy Schofield had the decency to turn up and address that gathered throng with the news that among other things, “things are more likely to get worse before they get better”. I am of course very much reducing what was a very honest, open and in many ways optimistc speach to make, what we believe is a most important point.

It seems we have limited choices:

1: Do nothing

2: Keep complaining, with the likely hood of getting nowhere.

3. Hope that somebody else will do something.

4: Do more ourselves and try to at least to take some defensive action.

We are opting for options 2 and 4 and need your help. We have taken the Merthyr Tydfil Angling Associations lead and are currently working on updating their Bailiff Handbook, a number of us having attended an evening course on just that “Club Bailiffing”. We hope to introduce a system for the Clwyd and Elwy in the near future. If you have an interest in doing something similar: please contact us via the email addresses shown on the home page and we will see if we can help get you started and seek the Environment Agency assistance in providing the course and guidelines for the handbook. Please do not just go off and do your own thing: it’s potentially dangerous and you could well be breaking the law.

The web site is now hosting applications for participation in experimental season extensions on three river systems, with we hope, more to come.

There are other initiatives “in the melting pot” and we will be seeking your help with those in the future.

This is your Campaign for the protection of your fisheries. Please help: You know it make sense!

Thank you.