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Fish Legal News - February 14th 2014


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Check your flies...

Have you noticed a decline in riverfly life on your fishery? Do you need some expert help to find out what is wrong?

Dr. Nick Everall, fisheries consultant and founder of Aquascience Consultancy, has developed cutting-edge biometric fingerprinting techniques which can be used by fishery owners and clubs to identify ongoing and/or previously undetected ecological problems - which the regulator is unable or unwilling to investigate. Alternatively, the techniques can also be used to record a 'snapshot' of the health of your river or stillwater to provide valuable evidence in case a pollution occurs in the future. Read more HERE.

Fish Legal has worked with Dr Everall on many successful cases over the years and would like to encourage its members to consider this new service, which could become a key tool in the fight against pollution. Please take the time to read the information via the link above.

You can contact Dr Everall for an informal conversation about his work on 01246 239344 or email for further information

Claimed Public Rights of Navigation ("PRN") over angling club waters

Many angling clubs and riparian owners receive assertions from would-be navigators (usually canoeists) of a general right to navigate over non-tidal waters in England and Wales. These alleged rights are often referred to as Public Rights of Navigation ("PRN"). Sometimes these assertions include the service of a so-called 'common law notice' by Mr Andrew (Andy) Biddulph which claims to oblige the recipient of the notice to state why PRN have been extinguished.

The notices are meaningless and of no legal effect. They also get the law the wrong way around - those who claim the existence of PRN must prove that these alleged rights exist - it is not for angling clubs or riparian owners to prove that they don't. Although there is no legal or other obligation to respond to these notices, it may be desirable to do so - if only to stop Mr Biddulph proclaiming some victory which he claims to have achieved because his (meaningless) notice is ignored.

We have a factsheet on the law of navigation which is free to Fish Legal club, fishery and riparian members. We also have a template letter (also free to the same Fish Legal members) which may be adapted and sent in response to these assertions of PRN. Fish Legal member clubs, fishery and riparian owners can also contact us for free advice on a case-by-case basis if they wish.

Email or call the legal team on 01568 620447.

Be prepared...

Administration can be a chore but it is vital that clubs, riparians and fishery owners keep up-to-date records in case the unthinkable happens: devastating pollution wiping out your fishery. Unfortunately, in Fish Legal's long experience of running such cases this can happen to anyone, and does happen all too frequently.

Good catch returns, good accounts, accurate membership records or day ticket sales and stocking receipts are all part of the vital evidence base in a pollution claim. Failing to have your files in order could see a polluter get away with paying back much less than the true value of the damage they have caused to your fishing, and in some cases they could get 'off the hook' altogether.

Fish Legal has a factsheet which includes a checklist of the routine information members should be collecting to make sure they can show how their fishing has been affected by an incident.  Fish Legal Member clubs, riparians and fishery owners can request a copy of the factsheet 'Preparing for the Worst' by emailing or calling the legal team on 01568 620447.

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers.
Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us.
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