Stop Polluting Our Rivers
Environmental Campaigning:Restore Fish Stocks | Fish Need Homes Too | Stop Polluting Our Rivers | Stop Stealing Our Water!
Fish and invertebrates are the canaries of our waterways. The health, size and diversity of fish populations are the best indicators of healthy waterways and missing invertebrates are the first indication of serious pollution. Anglers have always been first to report sewage and chemical spills in rivers and lakes and have fought for centuries to stop the dumping of waste into water; without anglers our rivers would still be open sewers. We have made a lot of progress in recent decades, but there are new threats from new chemicals, pesticides, gender-bending endocrine disruptors in sewage effluent and diffuse urban and agricultural pollution.
Anglers still have to wade through sewage debris from storm water overflows spilling out of Victorian sewers and regularly report massive fish kills to the Environment Agency only to see the polluters escape prosecution or get cautioned. Even when polluters are prosecuted, the fines are small change to most companies and don't help repair the environment.
Climate change will make pollution worse by reducing the dilution of pollutants in times of drought; at the same time higher numbers of heavy rainfall events will increase the likelihood of urban and agricultural run off reaching rivers without being treated. So, in both drought and flood our fish stocks will suffer without action being taken to protect them.
What we will do:
- We will continue to put pressure on the Government and its agencies to implement the measures proposed in the Blueprint for Water (www.blueprintforwater.org.uk)
- We will campaign locally and nationally to ensure that water bodies achieve good ecological status as defined by the Water Framework Directive, through the Our Rivers campaign (www.ourrivers.org.uk) in partnership with WWF, RSPB and the Association of Rivers Trusts.
- Where possible we will use the law to challenge decisions and activities which affect water quality on behalf of our members, and seek compensation for damage caused.
- We will respond to consultations and influence policies which affect water quality to ensure that fisheries are better protected.
- Take more aggressive and concerted legal action to prevent and compensate for pollution.
- Appoint more experts to analyse the problems caused by agricultural, industrial and
- sewage pollution.
- Campaign locally and nationally for better water management by employing press officers and producing new leaflets and web site resources.
- Appoint local representatives who could campaign on behalf of anglers to persuade the authorities to take action to stop pollution.