Protect Anglers' Rights To Fish
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As the nation's most popular pastime, angling should, by rights, be safe from being banned nationally or locally. Given the huge contribution that angling makes to safer and healthier communities, local economies, the huge investment anglers make in looking after the water environment and the great social benefits of angling for communities, it would be reasonable to assume that Councils and other authorities would be doing all they can to encourage angling by opening up new facilities, managing them well and advertising them to anglers.
In fact, recent years have seen angling banned or restricted on numerous beaches, piers, harbours, lakes and rivers up and down the country. Local Councils and water companies have used concerns about health & safety, litter and even potential noise pollution to stop angling taking place. New parking restrictions have been put in place on promenades to stop anglers leaving their cars in convenient and safe places.
To stop this gradual "salami-slicing" of angling access in its tracks, we need to promote the benefits of angling to the many decision-makers in local authorities, wildlife trusts and water companies. We must fight any attempts to restrict angling access and campaign for better facilities. This will have to be a far-reaching campaign, with many different strands to it, and it will need to take place at national and local levels.
What we will do:
- Continue to support our members where possible to fight against local bans (e.g. Cusworth Park Lake, Fishermen's Beach, Torquay Harbour, Draycote Reservoir, Foremark Reservoir etc.).
- Promote the community benefits of angling via National Fishing Month and other media activity.
- Continue to develop relationships with Wildlife Trusts and local authorities.
- Advise the Wildlife Trusts in the development of their own fisheries and angling policy.
- Continue to campaign against EU regulations which would restrict recreational sea angling.
- Print and distribute professional materials to promote the benefits of angling via the media and internet.
- Meet with the Local Government Association and Wildlife Trusts etc. to explain our concerns and develop a Memorandum of Understanding about access.
- Introduce and publicise codes of conduct for all forms of angling to ensure that it is seen as a responsible activity.
- Appoint Regional Officers who could campaign and protest locally against any bans and work with local businesses etc. to demonstrate the impact on local economies.
- Carry out audits of access and facilities for anglers in each region.
- Use these results to secure funding from Sport England and others to improve facilities for angling.