Angling Trust challenges Ministers over Conservative ‘Anti-Angling Report’

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The publication of a highly controversial and dubious report on Fish Welfare by the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation – a group supported by the Prime Minister’s partner Carrie Symonds – has been branded an ‘ill informed anti-angling rant lacking in evidence or credibility’ and a ‘gift to animal rights extremists’ by the Angling Trust.

In a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary George Eustice, Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook asks that the government distances itself from the report and reconfirms its support for angling.

Jamie Cook writes:

“If this was just the musings of some independent think tank we could let it pass with minimal comment as a biased and flawed piece of ideologically driven nonsense. But because it’s from the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation who enjoy close links to people at the heart of power in this country we feel obliged to ask you or your ministers to publicly confirm your support for recreational fishing and to distance the Government from the conclusions of this highly contentious and inaccurate report.”

Without any reference to established facts or science the report makes some extraordinary claims about angling including:

  • Catch and Release survival rates of 1-2%
  • Anglers store live fish in buckets causing them stress
  • Anglers knowingly gut and fillet live fish for the table
  • Fish feel pain
  • Fish are ‘sentient beings’ and should be included in animal welfare legislation

The full report can be found here – the misleading claims on Catch and Release are on page 24.

Previously the Conservative Party had been steadfast in its support for angling saying at the 2017 election:

“The Conservative Party will continue to support angling and the numerous benefits – economic, environmental, social and health – it brings to communities and individuals alike.”

Angling Trust Policy Chief Martin Salter added:

“We’ve worked hard to maintain strong cross party support for angling and have had great support from many Conservative MPs who are just as bemused as we are by the emergence of an ill informed anti-angling rant lacking in evidence or credibility.

“We’ve now provided ministers with peer reviewed scientific papers proving that catch and release survival rates are well above 90% and even higher in well conducted coarse fishing. Let’s hope this report is quickly disowned and we can go back to working with ministers on promoting all the benefits that angling has to offer.”

Useful links:

A copy of Jamie Cook’s letter to the PM can be downloaded here

References:

1. DPI Study NSW. Click here

2. Ferter, K et al. (2013) Unexpectedly high catch-and-release rates in European marine recreational fisheries: implications for science and management. ICES Journal of Marine Science. Click here

3. Steven J. Cooke, Andy J. Danylchuka, Sascha E. Danylchuka, Cory D. Suskie, Tony L. Goldberga. Is catch-and-release recreational angling compatible with no-take marine protected areas? Ocean & Coastal Management 49 (2006) 342–354. Click here

4. European Sea Bass C&R Mortality Study. Click here

5. Catch and Release of Salmon. Click here

6. Can fish really feel pain? Click here


The post Angling Trust challenges Ministers over Conservative ‘Anti-Angling Report’ appeared first on Angling Trust.

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mike fox

'Just Me and the Fish'
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Well, I'm very glad that the AT have responded to the ridiculous and baseless statements of the CAWF direct to the PM. However, the general public will not see this correspondence, so what I would like to see is the AT conduct a national Pro-Angling campaign. I realise this costs money but I believe the funds SHOULD be found. The AT spend small amounts of money on promoting angling within the angling community, which is great, but why tell us anglers what we already know. Why not tell the wider community that DON'T know about the benefits of angling dispelling the unfounded myths of the anti groups.
A reply from the AT to my suggestion would be good...........and I don't want to hear about lack of funds as an excuse, because funds can always be found.
 

MunchMyStump

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The mental health benefits of angling alone should be brought to the fore. Outside getting fresh air and in an open and friendly environment. All beneficial to both body and mind.
Mrs Munch works for the NHS in a very stressful environment and when she agreed to come fishing the benefits she gained in mental health and wellbeing were immeasurable. A beautiful day out in the countryside with fresh air and a day to just take your mind elsewhere.
Alas there are idiots with a platform who will use it any way they can to destroy peoples pleasures...
Let the AT deal with the retards whilst we get on with enjoying life.
 

tipitinmick

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There’s always someone isn’t there ? Doesn’t matter what it is you can always find someone that wants it banning. 😡
 

Andy Boans

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Mar 12, 2021
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Unfortunately the attacks on angling and its inforal, forthright place in environmental monitoring are becoming rather silly. Organisations such as the "RSPB" who submit bias scientific accounting and inaccurate, untransparent reports are making the governmental bodies, who they report too, look like a sham in the face of evident observation, scientific data and public awareness.
 

Andy Boans

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Mar 12, 2021
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I actually think this charitable organization has a hatred towards angling even though most anglers are indeed conservation minded.
 

Andy Boans

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As a ecological scientist I would suggest a thorough collect of natural wellbeing bodies go against such actions from a wealth driven organisation in the strongest manner possible. Tough work but really not unforscene with their current accord in environmental science.
 

Robwooly

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Jun 8, 2020
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Catch and release survival rates 1-2% WTF Someone needs to tell that perch I've had three times in two trips. The one with the mark on it's side who is doing rather well, putting on weight and is now big enough to survive the cormorants.
 

Cobweb

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Mar 9, 2019
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Well, I'm very glad that the AT have responded to the ridiculous and baseless statements of the CAWF direct to the PM. However, the general public will not see this correspondence, so what I would like to see is the AT conduct a national Pro-Angling campaign. I realise this costs money but I believe the funds SHOULD be found. The AT spend small amounts of money on promoting angling within the angling community, which is great, but why tell us anglers what we already know. Why not tell the wider community that DON'T know about the benefits of angling dispelling the unfounded myths of the anti groups.
A reply from the AT to my suggestion would be good...........and I don't want to hear about lack of funds as an excuse, because funds can always be found.
Agreed. To avoid a catastrophe for anglers and wildlife this report, must be discredited officially and immediately! The baseless claims it makes must be fully exposed for what they are. If the allegations can be made publicly - then so should the official rubbishing reach the same audience. It can't be that difficult to expose these nutters as fantasists!
 
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