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Angling Trust recruits Polish and Lithuanian speakers to help encourage migrant anglers to fish lawfully


Patrycja Bury and Martynas Pranaitis x550px

Two more Eastern European migrant anglers have been recruited by the Angling Trust to further encourage lawful angling in England.

Many migrant anglers come from cultures where coarse fish are regularly taken to eat and over the past ten years some migrants, often unaware of our laws and conservation-based angling culture, have continued this practice – causing tension amongst the angling community in England.

Avoiding such community division is one of the reasons why the Angling Trust’s new Fisheries Enforcement Support Service in partnership with the Environment Agency has established this issue as a priority for angling. The Environment Agency has commissioned the Angling Trust to deliver this service, paid for by rod licence income.

Now Polish-speaking Patrycja Bury and Lithuanian-speaker Martynas Pranaitis will help educate anglers on the ‘catch and return’ practice in this country, and encourage legal fishing as members of angling clubs or legitimately at commercial fisheries.

Their appointment as Project Officers continues the ‘Building Bridges’ work started five years ago by the Angling Trust, involving production of multi-lingual information leaflets, fishery protection signs, engagement with schools and communities, and integration events involving migrant and British anglers. Covering the whole of England, the Building Bridges team will be part of the Angling Trust’s new Fisheries Enforcement Support Service.

Building Bridges founder and manager, Rado Papiewski, said that the expansion of the team would “accelerate this massive task of educating and integrating, and build even stronger bridges between local and migrant anglers”.

Patrycja Bury has been fishing since childhood in Poland and is delighted to have the opportunity to promote integration amongst all anglers in Britain.

“Fishing is not just my passion, it’s my chosen lifestyle,” said Patrycja. “I came to England a couple of years ago and I am fascinated by the fish stocks and beautiful nature in the UK. We must all work together to protect this treasure.

“I also run an angling club known as WWA. It’s such a fabulous thing to be able to meet angling enthusiasts every day. Through competitions and events we can socialise, exchange views and experiences.

“I'm proud to see more women in this sport today. I'm not only an angler, I'm a mother too, and understand how important it is to find the right inspiration for little ones. Angling is perfect. Junior anglers are the future and we must engage with all of them. My children are nine, eight and four years old and all get hooked on fishing.”

Martynas Pranaitis, Dilip Sarkar, Rado Papiewski, Patrycja Bury x350px
Welcome to the Angling Trust ... (from left) Martynas
Pranaitis, Dilip Sarkar, Rado Papiewski and Patrycja Bury

Martynas Pranaitis is a life-long angler who fished competitively in Lithuania, where he graduated with a Masters in Ecology & Environmental Sciences and was a voluntary bailiff supporting the Lithuanian Aplinkos Apsauga (Environment Agency).

Martynas said: “I came to England eight years ago, working for an aviation catering business. In England I first enjoyed sea fishing but soon started coarse fishing, practising catch and release, playing by the rules.

“I noticed, though, British anglers’ attitudes on the bank often changed when they heard my accent. This upset me because not all migrant anglers are poachers and fish thieves, and this needs to be much better appreciated.

“So I joined the Angling Trust’s Voluntary Bailiff Service soon after it was launched in south east England to help protect our fisheries. I am also a member of the Crawley Angling Society bailiff team and do all I can to help. The only way forward is for migrants to embrace the law and culture of their adopted countries as I have.

“I am passionate about fish, fishing and protecting our fisheries. I am very much looking forward to this opportunity to be a part of the Building Bridges project and help with this vital work.”

Angling Trust’s National Enforcement Manager Dilip Sarkar MBE, said: “The expansion of Building Bridges is testament to Rado Papiewski’s vision and tenacity in dealing with a very difficult and complex issue. Prevention is always better than detection and so long-term, education is key.

“The approach under the Voluntary Bailiff Service falls within the Environment Agency’s holistic approach to enforcement, meaning that this is one component of an overall strategy to secure compliance with the law by all anglers, regardless of status or ethnicity. I am pleased to welcome our new staff and that Building Bridges is now included in the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, delivering the Fisheries Enforcement Campaign.”

Through the work being done by the Building Bridges project, strong links have been forged with environmental and enforcement organisations in Poland and Lithuania, and the project is endorsed by Mr Daniel Kawczynski MP, the Prime Minister’s Envoy for Polish & Eastern European Diaspora in the UK.

  • Read more about the Building Bridges project HERE
  • Six retired police officers join Angling Trust .. read HERE

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