The Angling Trust appeal for funds to protect fish from the turbines.

Angling Trust Media Release

Friday 29th May 2015

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Appeal Launched to Stop Tidal Lagoons Damaging Marine and Migratory Fish

The Angling Trust & Fish Legal have launched an appeal to raise funds to protect marine and migratory fish from hydropower tidal lagoons, which are now being proposed in the Severn Estuary, Colwyn Bay and the Solway Firth, with the potential for many more around our coastline.

This so-far untested technology could have serious impacts, on sea angling and on migratory fish that pass through inshore waters (primarily salmon and sea trout), almost anywhere around the British coastline. Please read on, give us your support and forward this e-mail to everyone you know who cares about fish and fishing!

Generating power from tidal lagoons is a new technology and there is a lot of uncertainty about the impact on fish, but there could be significant damage to local and regional populations of fish which are already under threat such as bass, flounder, cod, eels, lamprey, shad, salmon and sea trout which spend a lot of time in the estuaries where these lagoons will be located.  Juvenile and adult fish will pass through the turbines which will put them at risk of being killed, damaged or delayed from migrating up or down river, and their life-cycles will be disrupted to an unknown extent by the massive changes to tidal flows and aquatic ecology.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is the first such scheme to be proposed anywhere in the world and a decision on planning approval is expected shortly from the new Government.  In our view the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by the developers has not provided satisfactory evidence that the lagoon will not cause major damage to stocks, and their proposed mitigation (reflecting the limited extent to which they have accepted the risks) is in our view inadequate.

Fish Legal solicitors and the Angling Trust campaigns team have spent many weeks of work on the £1bn Swansea lagoon scheme alone, challenging the developers to provide better information, submitting objections to the planning authorities and getting our concerns aired on national radio and TV.

Three more, even larger, tidal lagoons are proposed for the Severn Estuary at Cardiff, Newport and Bridgwater Bay.  The proximity of these schemes to major rivers with runs of migratory fish, including several with international conservation designations for threatened salmon and other stocks, is likely to have unacceptable consequences.  The assessment in 2010 for the English and Welsh governments of the potential impact of two lagoons in the Severn estuary concluded that, even individually, they could cause the extinction of local fish stocks of internationally high conservation value in the rivers Wye, Severn and Usk.  There is no reason why these impacts would not also apply to fish migrating up the many significant salmon and sea trout rivers flowing into Colwyn Bay (North Wales) and the Solway Firth.

We hope that Government will appreciate the unacceptable costs and uncertainties associated with the Swansea Lagoon and that it will not go ahead.  However, in case the scheme is approved, we are already fighting for effective environmental protection built in to its design and operation, including a robust monitoring programme to assess the damage to the local environment and dependent interests; to provide the information needed so that the lagoon’s operation can be adjusted to reduce that damage; and to maximise the lessons for the construction and operation of other proposed lagoons.

Unless hydropower tidal lagoons can be demonstrated to be safe for marine and migratory fish, we will do everything possible, with our limited resources, to fight to stop them being built.

End.


Note to Editors:

  • Donations should be made payable to Fish Legal and sent to Eastwood House, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8DQ.  Alternatively please ring 01568 620447 during office hours to make a donation using a credit or debit card.  Please specify in both cases that you want your donation to support the Tidal Lagoon Campaign.
  • There is more information about the concerns about the Swansea proposals on the Pontardawe and Swansea Angling Society page: http://pasas.org.uk/lagoon1.html

Contact:

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive – Angling Trust and Fish Legal.

mark.lloyd@anglingtrust.net , 07973 468198

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 that uses the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK.  Joint membership packages with Fish Legal are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories.

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

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