Another example of why Environment Agency Wales needs more funding

The following item has been forwarded by Wynne Griffiths, the secretary of Ogmore Angling Association, and provides a graphic example of why the EAW needs more funding. The Campaign’s sole objective it, by all means possible, to try to ensure adequate protection of our fisheries, which means, among other things, having a sufficiently funded enforcement agency who have the legal powers to apprehend offenders.

Please use the report and incident tab to record all such illegal activity and provide useful information of suspected illegal activity: that way we have a chance of proving the need for higher levels of enforcement. IF YOU DO NOT REPORT THESE INCIDENTS AND RECORD THEM VIA THE CAMPAIGN WEB SITE, WE CAN NOT BUILD A CASE.

SAFFA OF SUFFER?

The Environment Agency has a statutory obligation to maintain, improve and develop fisheries. Fisheries enforcement is a vital aspect of this. As such, in their review of fisheries enforcement in 2007 the Environment Agency stated ‘We want protected fisheries and satisfied customers confident in our actions’.

Not only is it clear that the above statement is not being achieved but it is clear that the Environment agency is failing in its statutory duty to protect our fisheries which is a requirement under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975) (SAFFA).

On the evening of Sunday 8th May members of the Ogmore Angling Association whilst fishing disturbed four poachers netting a notable pool on the river Ogmore during an incoming tide. Such a high impact incident should have been given the highest importance by the Agency, yet not only did they fail to respond but they failed to contact those members during and after that event.

This incident is not unremarkable. This is in fact the third consecutive high impact incident on this river which has failed to attract a response from the Agency. In fact it would have been more far more surprising had the Agency attended given the number of enforcement officers who are available outside of office hours.

The Agency’s senior management must now ‘come clean’ and acknowledge that they cannot possibly carry out their statutory duty to protect our fisheries with their current resources. In the meantime our fisheries, fish and fishermen will continue to suffer.

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