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Voluntary Bailiff Service: South Downs Update

06.06.14

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New Voluntary Bailiff Service South Downs Area Coordinator Colin Stirling (left), pictured on a recent patrol during Operation CLAMP DOWN 2 with Mark Bennett of the Environment Agency

Within the existing Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS) pilot project covering South East England, the first VBS Area Coordinator (AC), Colin Stirling, has been appointed to the South Downs (Sussex) area. This was formerly part of a larger VBS area, which also included Solent - all covered by just one AC.

Colin said: "Having thoroughly enjoyed being a Voluntary Bailiff (VB) for over a year, during which time I have accompanied Environment Agency (EA) Fisheries Enforcement Officers (FEO) on a number of patrols, I am delighted to have this chance to get more involved. For me, this is a unique opportunity for me to put something back into fishing".

AC Stirling's role will be to locally organise South Downs VBs, working closely with the EA's man on the spot: Fisheries & Biodiversity Technical Officer Brian Smart. Based in Sussex, Brian's main role is providing fishery management advice to angling clubs, and, as a senior angling coach, introducing newcomers, particularly youngsters, to the sport. Brian will now act as the Agency's local liaison with the VBS, thus freeing up FEOs more enforcement activities including patrol's with VBs.

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Environment Agency Fisheries & Biodiversity Technical Officer Brian Smart, who will be working closely with Colin Stirling to coordinate with Voluntary Bailiff Service in Sussex.

Brian said: "I am really looking forward to working with Colin to support the VBS in Sussex. These volunteers perform an invaluable function, looking out for  potential illegal fishing activity -thus very much helping to protect fish and fisheries."

The Angling Trust's Fisheries Enforcement Manager, retired police officer Dilip Sarkar, said: "This is progress; law enforcement is fuelled by intelligence - and that means local knowledge. Having a Sussex-based AC, therefore, will increase VBS effectiveness in that area. We are grateful to both Colin Stirling and Brian Smart for so enthusiastically providing this essential support, and we look forward to working closely with all involved".

Media Contact:
High resolution images and more information available from Angling Trust Fisheries Enforcement Manager Dilip Sarkar - dilip.sarkar@anglingtrust.net


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