Building Bridges with Migrant Anglers
BUILDING BRIDGES WITH MIGRANT ANGLERS: PROJECT BACKGROUNDRecent years have seen illegal fishing increase dramatically in a number of areas of the country and many thousands of fish being killed in fisheries by anglers with no permission to fish there.
Time and again we have heard from anglers that their reports of fish thefts have been passed back and forth between the police and the Environment Agency, with each claiming it is the other’s responsibility.
Night lines with multiple hooks, nets and even poison have been used throughout the country to capture fish for consumption and sale.
Migrant workers, who come from cultures where coarse fish are regularly taken to eat, have taken huge quantities of fish (many of them large specimens) both legally and illegally in recent years.
At the beginning of 2010 The Angling Trust received funding from the Environment Agency to deliver our experimental "Building Bridges" project to help anglers from Eastern Europe understand UK angling laws and customs.
The main aim was to encourage these anglers to fish legally as part of angling clubs and at commercial fisheries. The Angling Trust has employed Radoslaw Papiewski, an enlightened Polish angler, for a period of one year. For one day a week. Rado has worked in the pilot project area, which is close to his home in Wiltshire, an area which has significant Eastern European migrant communities.
MAIN ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE PILOT AREARadoslaw explains "We believe that the main cause of poaching is a lack of understanding of angling culture in England and therefore we were keen to do as much as possible to encourage anglers from immigrant communities to become involved in clubs and mainstream events so that they become bound by their rules and culture."
Rado has used Polish newspapers and other community networks to discourage the poaching and encourage greater integration with mainstream angling clubs. The project has arranged for members of the migrant community to attend angling club meetings then join the club and agree to keep to the established rules about returning fish.
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2010/11
- 21 educational articles have been published in the Eastern European Media which distributes 200,000 copies every week
- 16 press releases have been published in the national angling press
- 11 angling clubs got engaged in project activities
- 3 educational meetings were organised
- 3,000 multi-language leaflets have been distributed via tackle shops or angling clubs (available to download on the right hand side of this page)
- Multi-language signs for fisheries have been developed and distributed (available to download on the right hand side of this page)
- Several migrants fishing clubs have been established in order to get more people involved in fishing activities
PLANS FOR 2012/13During the Pilot Project period it was discovered that there are many other areas within the UK where similar activities are needed. The Environment Agency provided further funding and we decided to extend our work in to the East Anglia region.
The Building Bridges project is seeking your involvement. We need to hear from you
if you have:
- Evidence of poaching incidents, or any other illegal angling activities on or near your waters
- Planned events or matches to which we could invite members of the Eastern European community
Multi-language SignsThe Angling Trust designed publicity materials targeted at migrant communities to advise them about the laws and bye-laws regarding angling and the potential offences for illegal fishing.
These have been translated into several languages and distributed as appropriate and uploaded onto various web sites. We have been putting out press releases about the project to the angling and mainstream media.
Click HERE to download the multi-lingual signs
Anti Fish Theft PosterThe "Don't steal, cook or kill fish" message is illustrated in a series of pictograms which have been tested on non-anglers and anglers alike and avoid the need for complex signs in many languages. Pictograms are readily understood regardless of mother tongue.
The Don't steal poster addresses the problem of the removal of coarse fish from rivers, canals and lakes, which has been headline news for some time.
"If you want to catch a fish to eat - then try stillwater trout fishing" - says David Moore - Angling Trust Board Member.
Click HERE to download the poster as a high resolution file which you can print and make into a laminated poster for your fishery.
ABOUT THE BUILDING BRIDGES PROJECT OFFICERS
My grandfather and father introduced me to fishing back in Poland and I've always fished for many different species. However live and dead baiting for pike was my preferred method. When I arrived in the UK eight years ago it took two years to settle into my new life and during this time I was so busy I never thought I'd be holding a fishing rod again! When I settled down in Wiltshire I discovered the fascination of barbel fishing on the wild stretches of the Bristol Avon and decided to dedicate most of my time to that. As well as aiming to beat my personal best barbel year on year, fishing has become a way of enjoying the peace and quiet away from full time work. As soon as the temperature drops you'll find me dusting off my pike gear chasing a big fish...
I come from Poland, "a land of a thousand lakes" and have always fished from an early age. Nine years ago I moved to the UK and started to get interested in carp angling. This is now my favourite type of fishing and I regard wild carp as the biggest challenge and the main goal of all my sessions. Fishing is an escape from the responsibilities of work and I look forward to using my experience of living and fishing in my homeland to educate other anglers from my homeland in UK fishing customs.