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Politicians Fish For 3 Million Votes


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The Angling Trust today launched a campaign strategy to highlight the concerns of Britain’s 3 million anglers in the run-up to the General Election.

Click Here to download the Campaign Strategy 2010
"Fighting for the Future of Your Fishing"

The comprehensive strategy includes calls for the government and its agencies to:
• Protect fish stocks from commercial overfishing by reforming the Common Fisheries Policy and enforcing existing legislation;
• Implement the Water Framework Directive to address diffuse pollution, low river flows and habitat damage;
• Allow greater controls of cormorants by anglers suffering excessive fish predation on their waters;
• Provide more accountability about how anglers’ £26million from freshwater rod licences is actually spent;
• Stop the march of non-native invasive species such as signal crayfish, giant hogweed and floating pennywort;
• Ensure that none of the thousands of new hydropower installations planned on our rivers damages fisheries;
• Protect the rights of anglers to go fishing and to access piers, ponds and to park near beaches;
• Support efforts to encourage more people to get into fishing;
• Protect fish from diseases imported from abroad.

Angling is more popular than ever, with freshwater rod licence sales soaring last year to 1.5 million from 1.3 million in the previous year. The Trust is aiming to sustain and continue this growth and ensure that there are plenty of fish to catch and safe and clean places for people of all ages to catch them.

Six Members of Parliament recently signed up as Parliamentary Supporters of the Angling Trust, the organisation which represents anglers in England, at a meeting of the All Party Angling Group at the House of Commons. The Group is chaired by Martin Salter MP (Reading West), a long-standing supporter of the Trust and the Labour party spokesman for angling and shooting and includes Richard Benyon (Newbury), the Conservatives' fisheries spokesman.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said “We are very grateful to these busy Members of Parliament for agreeing to support the Angling Trust. Millions of anglers in England need a listening ear in Parliament to hear their concerns about pollution, over-abstraction, commercial over-fishing at sea, access restrictions and a host of other issues which affect the quality of our sport.”

Mike Heylin, Chairman of the Angling Trust said: “We look forward to working closely with these parliamentarians to ensure that the anglers’ voice is heard. In the run-up to the General Election, the Angling Trust will be working hard to ensure that issues affecting the nation’s anglers are taken on board by candidates of all political parties.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The Angling Trust was formed in January 2009 by a merger of six angling bodies and has since recruited 13,800 individuals and 1,320 clubs to membership. The new organisation has been confirmed as the National Governing Body for all angling and as such is responsible for representing the nation’s 3 million anglers who contribute more than £3 billion to the UK economy and carry out millions of pounds worth of environmental improvements to waterside environments every year.

It campaigns and takes legal action on a range of issues affecting marine and freshwater fisheries and the water environment in general.

The organisation also manages the England angling teams, who represent their country in all disciplines at international competitions. England leads the world in competition angling and the formation of the new organisation has been seen as a positive move for the competition side of the sport as well, because it will attract more sponsorship to the national teams.

2. The strategy is available for download HERE and can be summarised under four headings:

  1. Environmental Campaigning: local and national campaigns to restore marine fish stocks, removal of barriers to migration, resistance to thousands of planned hydropower turbines, action on diffuse pollution and over-abstraction, all backed up by legal action from Fish Legal.
  2. Fighting for Anglers: pushing the EA for greater transparency about fisheries spending, protecting anglers’ rights and resisting universal canoe access.
  3. Managing Our Fisheries: new projects and campaigns to map and tackle non-native invasive species like signal crayfish and giant hogweed, a fight for more powers to control cormorants and better contingency plans to prevent fish disease.
  4. Promoting and Developing Angling: promoting the benefits of angling to society, the economy and the environment, management of national and international competitions in all disciplines and millions spent via the ADB getting more people into fishing.

3. The parliamentary supporters of the Angling Trust are now:

  • Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour, Labour Spokesman for Angling & Shooting)
  • Richard Benyon (Newbury, Conservative, Shadow Fisheries Spokesman)
  • Jon Cruddas (Dagenham, Labour)
  • Bill Wiggin (Leominster, Conservative, Opposition Whip)
  • Charles Walker (Broxbourne, Conservative)
  • Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead, Conservative, Shadow Minister for Health)

4. Joining instructions

Annual adult membership of the Angling Trust is just £20. Members can sign up online at or by calling 0844 7700616. Clubs, riparian owners, fisheries, tackle shops are also all welcome to join this new organisation.

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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