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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some unfriendly people are looking at ways of cutting expenditure and have suggested the anglers start paying for the conservation...even though they have no say...Funny eh!
Statement from the Angling Trust


""Wildlife and Countryside Link, a coalition of more than 30 voluntary organisations concerned with the conservation and protection of wildlife and the countryside, this week issued a statement with some proposals for spending decisions related to environmental and countryside spending in light of the current review of budgets. It contained a large number of proposals, which included the following:

“Fisheries - all Environment Agency work on managing freshwater fisheries and fishing licences should be covered by fishing licence fees - £9.4 million saving4. All IFCA and MMO work on the management of sea fisheries could be funded by industry. In addition, a licence could be imposed upon the sea angling community similar to that of freshwater angling.”

The Angling Trust is not a member of Wildlife and Countryside Link, but has a partnership agreement to collaborate on the Blueprint for Water. The Trust was neither aware of, nor consulted with on these proposals. ""


I am not suggesting for one minute that this is going to happen this is just a warning that those lovely conservationists who are always asking for support for their wonderful and caring work...really don't give a monkeys about anglers or to a degree the general public. As long as they get what they want things are fine. Even to the point of making anglers pay for their conservation work even though we dont have a say where the money goes. Our first thought should always be towards conservation of our sport not giving money to other organisations who might even like to see angling stopped....
 

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Personally I wouldn't object to a licence for coastal sea fishing, I would prefer if it were included as part of the current EA fishing licence for freshwater, or rather replace it and have a general licence for England and Wales that covered all fishing, perhaps with the exception still of migratory species like Sea Trout and Salmon.

If the price stayed roughly the same I wouldn't have an issue, I already pay it anyway but it would generate more funds for the EA as many responsible Sea anglers would buy one for around £25, let's be honest that's not a huge amount of money. The benefits of it would be that an organisation such as the Environment Agency would get more involved in Sea Anglers concerns and issues. I don't think that would be a bad thing, they would prosecute polluters and hopefully try to protect our coastline from overfishing.

Most sea anglers dont pay anything for their fishing yet are quite happy to complain about commercials, litter, pollution etc... would it really be so bad to ask for something from them to help protect our coast?

I can't see it ever working though, over 11,000 miles of british coastline. How would you even begin to police it?

However, if it just turned out to be a money making scheme like the "road fund licence" where bugger all goes back into what it was intended for in the first place then I say we should burn down parliment.
 

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I have a fishing licence and don't mind paying for it, I enjoy fishing and would have the biggest grin on my face when the ballifs try to arrest me for catching trout and salmon.
Although they have the last laugh so far, I have never caught a trout or salmon, those fish are way to smart to be caught by the likes of me.
One day .........
 

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I tend to agree with Alex,
If there was some changes to protect the inshore fisheries from excessive commerical pressure, work to improve stocks, a management plan that didn't just say "squeeze sea fisherman for cash".Then I would be very happy to part with cash. However I very much doubt it with be anything other than a fundraiser.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't disagree with that Nathan...provided our money would be spent on things to the benefit of Sea Angling not some faceless bunch of conservationists who pay no thought to the angling fraternity. I would much sooner see everyone forced to join the Angling trust with the membership money spent solely on our sport in what ever way anglers see fit and the conservationists working for us under our control...but the way we are in this country it's highly unlikely, sadly...
 

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If the Environment Agency were behind the licence and all the funds went to them then it could be a really positive thing.They actively promote freshwater fishing and have done some good work as far as conservation is concerned. If Sea anglers were required to hold an EA licence then the EA would have to become more accountable to sea anglers demands. As I said it doesn't have to cost anymore than the freshwater licence, just include the additional sea fishermen and I'm sure it would cover costs. Plenty of other countries have licences and I'm sure their fish stocks and coastlines are better protected than ours after the last 13 years of mis-management and caving into the commercials. We need a true voice that will make a difference and make DEFRA listen.

I honestly belive that ONE Angling group should be formed to represent the entire Angling community and that the special interest groups (BASS, Wild Trout Trust, Salmon and trout association etc...) should all bite the bullet and join forces so we have a unified voice, sure there will be differences of opinions and you can't please everyone but at the moment our interests are being pushed aside by more organised and influential parties. The RSPB for example have a lot more clout and financial backing than any of the smaller organisations that currently represent Angling, as a result they have more a lot more say

We have to ask ourselves why we're not being heard. One organisation has to be the way forward. At least a licence would make people take some responsibility and put their hands in their pockets.

And Pete...take a trip to Scotland and find some nice rivers like the whitadder and blackadder, tributories of the tweed but both have some decent runs of Salmon and Sea Trout, best of all.. you dont need a licence in Scotland to fish for them. Smaller rivers like those are cheap to fish too, free if you happen to know a farmer up there whose land the rivers meander through ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well said again Chad..I totally agree...Oh and by the way the Angling Trust is that one organisation representing all anglers and has been for over a year.That's why I am always promoting it. Unfortunately the Environment Agency is not as clever as you think. The Angling Trust is looking at taking it to court because it has been letting major polluters off very lightly leaving large areas of rivers devoid of fish and no actions to make good the damage or loss.

If we all joined the Angling Trust the money and power that would give the angling groups would be unbelievable..much more than the RSPB even. According to government figures 1.9 million people took part in sea angling alone last year way higher than 5 years previous. Think of the revenue that even half of that would bring in. We are our own worst enemies when it comes to helping our selves and it may take a license to wake people up but doubt it.
 

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Well said Chad - Bass breeding and release program anyone?
Slightly off the subject I admit, but the problem with your suggestion Alex is not the number of bass surviving (cold winters excepted) : its the number of bass that get to be of a viable size to effectively spawn due to unriestricted commercial angling pressure. Minimum landing size = 36cm for bass but the minimum spawning size is aprox 42-43 cm (and effectiveness of spawning at this size is likely poor too). There are plenty of bass at the bottom of the population pyramid but as you climb up the pyramid above 36cm it quickly becomes very thin indeed. Its a reduction in commercial pressure on "mature" bass that we need.

Re: Specialist groups needing to join together as suggested by Chad - I agree we need a unified voice (hence i am a AT member), however with single species groups (at least in the case of BASS the one I know best) they are far more than just conservation/campaigning groups, so bringing them under a single umbrella would not easily work.

Matt
 

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I, like others, would willingly part with cash for a sea fishing licence, if I knew the money would be used for 'fishing related purposes'. However when trawlers come in so close to shore (within 100 - 150 yards at Slapton/Beesands in South Devon) sweeping up most of the fish why should we pay a licence fee. After all what would we be paying for?

I agree with Chad abou the difficulties the authorities would face with policing the licence. They struggle with preventing illegal netting so how will they manage with checking that millions of sea anglers have got a licence? Perhaps the onus would go onto tackle shops (online & on the high street) to make sure that people have licences, similar to having to sometimes having to give your details when you but a telly on the high street
 

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I like the position taken by he Angling Trust, they have made it pretty clear of what is required before a licence is introduced.
The Licence will only be succesful if the revenue gained from a licence is invested into the policing, preservation of fish habitat, etc. If the licence is seen as an opportunity to gain revenue to balance the books within the EA then I for one would not support.
As for the EA,NRA, etc.... then thats a whole new topic.
We need representation and gaurantees before progress is made, accepting a licence without will lead to a tax on Anglers. The Angling Trust are well positioned to do this if we support them and unite as 'one'.
If you want to look at what could be if policed properly, then look at the US and the improvements that have and continue to be made. It is also worth noting that the US fisheries and wildlife department have considerable powers, something that is a must have for the UK if a difference is to be made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Most certainly agree Jim. When you look at what could be done in this country and what we have done, we are a million miles away from our American cousins. It's such a shame and such a waste but we have to keep trying to educate people and get them to sign up to the trust.
 

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As I have already stated I do have a fishing licence in the hope of one day catching a trout or salmon, I just got home from work and had a Enviroment Agency letter waiting for me.

Failure to submit catch return for 2009 Fishing Season.

We have no record of receiving your catch record return.
Failing to provide a catch return is a offence and you are required to provide this to us by law.

Whilst we do not intend to take enforcement action against you for 2009 fishing season's failure to provide your catch return, Please note that future failures will render you liable to enforcement action. You may also lose your licence.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well I never caught anything to report, they sure are a very threatning lot.
I only really got a licence so the money would be spent improving rivers etc.
For some reason I won't be renewing it next year. :wackit:
 

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I agree Pete that is a bit Harsh!

I take it you got the full licence for Migratory species too? It's about £60 or £70 isn't it? Bugger that, that's why I go just over the border to Scotland for my Salmon fishing. The chance of me catching any in the south of England is slim, specially considering the cost of fishing some of our rivers for Salmon with a fly rod.
 

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I agree Pete that is a bit Harsh!

I take it you got the full licence for Migratory species too? It's about £60 or £70 isn't it? Bugger that, that's why I go just over the border to Scotland for my Salmon fishing. The chance of me catching any in the south of England is slim, specially considering the cost of fishing some of our rivers for Salmon with a fly rod.
Yeah Chad, I got the full one, I just read the paper work that came with the licence *think I will tell them where to put the licence, I can do without this hassle*
It is a offence not to send your catch return. You could face prosecution and be fined up to £2,500
Please record your effort even if you had 'nil' catch and show the number of days you fished for salmon or sea trout.

Shame they don't put this amount of effort into clearing the water where I fish
 

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I could be wrong, but I seem to remember, back in the days of being at school, that there is something in the Magna Carta about an Englishmen being entitled to catch fish from the sea?

IF, and its a bloody BIG if that I am talking about here, the govt decided to protect hereditarily BRITISH waters around the UK, as well as Norway protects her waters, then I would be willing to pay for a license to sea fish. The biggest problem being that most of the money raised from any license fee would go on admin and bureaucracy, rather than the actual protection of our waters.

If the govt thinks hard about it though, it may find itself in trouble with things like polution. If someone is put in a position of looking after our seas and marine life, then any polution causing person (s) would be liable to prosecution by the appointed people. So when the water authorites go pumping raw sewage into the sea, as they did at Harwich for donkeys years, then they will effectively be prosecting themselves. Either that or as usual, anything involving the govt being in the wrong will be swept under the carpet and some major scandal will be announced to draw attention away from it.

All in all tho, it would be almost impossible to police it effectively. Tens, if not hundres of thousands of miles of coastline to be patrolled??? Yeah rite!! The govt can't even pay the police to do their job, let alone bringing out a "sea fish police" as well.

Another thought as I was about to sign off.
How many smallish boats around the UK run these evening mackerel fishing trips as well as 2 or 3 hour trips during the daytime? Who will be responsible for the licenses there, where the average customer probably doesn't really go fishing from one years end to the next.
Charter boats. Same question again.

Something I would like to see if they could prove to me that our seas will benefit from it. But as long as I am going out fishing in boats, not 6 miles from land and having European beam trawlers ploughing up the seabed, I wont contribute towards it and would sooner pack in fishing all together than contribute to making our fisheries a better place for other countries to benefit from.
 
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