THE Angling Trust has challenged political parties seeking election on June 8 to demonstrate their support for recreational fishing with the publication of a Manifesto for Angling.
The organisation represents anglers in England and Wales but it one of the most powerful lobby groups in the sport across the UK. The document focuses on four key areas:
A Brexit for fish and fishing: Retain all current EU environmental protections; make recreational sea anglers a fully legitimised user stakeholder group in any new UK fisheries policy and reform the farm subsidy system to ensure that £3 billion of taxpayers’ money is focused on action to address flooding, pollution and habitat damage.
Responsible management of water: Reform the outdated abstraction regime; introduce national compulsory water metering and build more water storage facilities.
Recognition, Promotion and Access to Angling: Encourage local authorities and other public bodies to open waters to angling; protect the rights of all anglers to fish without fear of harassment and disruption and recognise that voluntary access arrangements are the only way to manage an increase in water-based recreation such as canoeing.
Environment fit for fish and wildlife: Set clear targets and timeframes for rebuilding marine stocks and tackle invasive non-native species such as signal crayfish, floating pennywort, giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam and mink; reverse the decline in marine fish stocks and recognise the damage caused to inland fisheries by predators such as cormorants, goosanders, mink and otters.
Chief executive Mark Lloyd said,
“Angling and the environment are too often ignored in decisions by governments and their agencies which has led to a decline in participation and fish stocks. We are hereby calling on the new government, of whatever complexion, to get a grip of the challenges facing our sport and the environment, which would deliver real improvements to the lives of millions of people who love fishing in this country.”
Meanwhile after successfully securing funding from Belfast City Council and with support from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland Cross Community Angling has announced the launch of another CAST Project (Community Angling Skills Training). The Project will start in June and run until October. With a total of six sessions, it is open to women, girls, people with disabilities and young people.
This project is aimed at encouraging and increasing participation in sport.All participants must reside within the Belfast City Council boundaries.
And finally Martin Beattie from Bangor is the winner of the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs online catch return competition. He wins a 2017 season rod licence and one permit.