Angling Trust urges members to challenge political parties over 2019 Manifesto for Angling

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The Angling Trust | NEWS

Martin Salter with David Drew x550

Head of Policy Martin Salter presenting the Angling Mnifesto 2019 to David Drew, Shadow Environment Minister

The Angling Trust has challenged politicians and political parties seeking election on December 12th to demonstrate their support for recreational fishing with the publication of a 2019 Manifesto for Angling.

All the parties representing English constituencies in the House of Commons have been sent a copy of the manifesto and invited to indicate the extent of their support for angling.

Angling Trust members and supporters are being encouraged to contact their local candidates with a copy of the manifesto and secure commitments to protect fisheries and anglers’ rights in the next Parliament. The Trust secured cross-party support for similar manifestos in the 2017, 2015 and 2010 General Elections.

The document focuses on four key areas:

A better deal for fish and fishing once the UK has left the EU
  • retaining in full the commitment transferring all current EU environmental protections that benefit fish stocks and the aquatic environment to the UK.
  • reforming the farm subsidy system to ensure that £3 billion of taxpayers’ money is focused on action to address any pollution and habitat damage from poor agricultural practices.
  • setting clear targets and timeframes for rebuilding marine stocks recognising that many are shared with other EU Member States.
Responsible management of water
  • reforming as a matter of urgency the outdated abstraction regime to allow more sustainable management of water resources.
  • introducing national compulsory water metering and better storage facilities to avoid damaging abstractions during drought periods.
  • putting new duties on the water regulator OFWAT to take account of environmental impacts when planning future investment by water companies.
Recognition, promotion and access to angling
  • recognising the benefits of angling for the environment, the economy, individuals and communities.
  • providing support for our national teams and international angling competitions.
  • continuing to ring fence rod licence income for angling and fisheries work.
  • protecting the rights of all anglers to fish without fear of harassment and disruption
  • recognising that voluntary access agreements are the only way to manage the increase in water-based recreation, such as canoeing, on inland waters and avoid conflict between different user groups.
  • recognising recreational sea anglers as equal stakeholders in decisions about marine fisheries management.
Environment fit for fish and wildlife
  • removing and easing barriers to fish migration in rivers and stop others being built.
  • tackling diffuse agricultural pollution through a combination of enforcement by regulators and expert advice from charities outside the regulatory system.
  • creating a sustainable marine fishery with designated nursery areas, commercial catch limits based on science and better protection for estuaries and inshore waters.
  • recognising the damage caused to inland fisheries by predators such as cormorants, goosanders, mink and otters and support fishery managers’ efforts to protect their waters and businesses from unsustainable predation.
  • giving active consideration to the case for including cormorants on the General Licence.
Stuart Singleton-White, Head of Campaigns at the Angling Trust, said:

“As the population of the UK grows, the increased pressure sees our fish and water bodies suffering. Overfishing around our coasts is devastating many fish marine stocks and inadequate controls on the pollution coupled with unsustainable abstraction has left too many rivers in a mess. Add to that the gross underfunding and lack of enforcement from the likes of the Environment Agency are simply making things worse. We need all political parties, whether they form the next government or not, to get behind angling and to get a grip of the challenges facing our water environment.”

Martin Salter, Head of Policy at the Angling Trust added:

“Angling is one of the best ways to enjoy the natural world up close. It also creates an army of environmental advocates that the politicians should recognise. Angling also makes a vital contribution to people’s wellbeing and good mental health and provides the perfect way to relax and de-stress. The Angling Trust has worked hard to highlight the benefits of our sport, to build strong cross party support for all forms of recreational fishing and to ensure that MPs realise that angling plays a vital role in protecting our rivers, coasts and freshwater.”

Download a copy of the 2019 Manifesto for Angling HERE