Angling Trust launches its '2017 Manifesto for Angling'

The Angling Trust has challenged politicians and political parties seeking election on June 8 to demonstrate their support for recreational fishing with the publication of what it calls its '2017 Manifesto for Angling'.

Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd addressing a Conservative Party Conference reception with then Environment Secretary Liz TrussAngling Trust members and supporters are being encouraged to contact their local candidates with a copy of the manifesto and secure commitments to protect fisheries and anglers' rights in the next Parliament.

You can download a copy of the manifesto by following the link at the end of this article.

The Trust secured cross-party support for similar manifestos in the 2015 and 2010 General Elections.

The document focuses on four key areas, the main points of which include:

The recognition, promotion and access to angling by encouraging Local Authorities and other public bodies to open waters to angling; protect the rights of all anglers to fish without fear of harassment and disruption; and recognise that voluntary access arrangements are the only way to manage an increase in water based recreation such as canoeing.

The creation of an environment fit for fish and wildlife by setting clear targets and timeframes for the rebuilding of marine stocks by limiting fishing mortality via a quota system or spatial closures rather than producer-driven 'effort-based' systems, such as Days At Sea. It also calls for concerted action to be taken to address the decline in salmon stocks throughout the UK; tackle invasive non-native species such as signal crayfish, floating pennywort, giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam and mink; reverse the decline in marine fish stocks; and recognise the damage caused to inland fisheries by predators such as cormorants, goosanders, mink and otters.

A Brexit for fish and fishing which retains all current European Union environmental protections; makes recreational sea anglers a fully legitimised user stakeholder group in any new UK fisheries policy and reforms the farm subsidy system to ensure that £3 billion of taxpayers' money is focused on action to address flooding, pollution and habitat damage.

Responsible management of water: Reform of the outdated abstraction regime; the introduction of national compulsory water metering; and the building of more water storage facilities.

Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said: "Angling and the environment are too often ignored in decisions by governments and their agencies which has led to a decline in participation and fish stocks. We are hereby calling on the new government, of whatever complexion, to get a grip of the challenges facing our sport and the environment which would deliver real improvements to the lives of millions of people who love fishing in this country. Most of the actions we are seeking would have significant benefits for local communities and society in general."

National Campaigns Co-ordinator Martin Salter added: "Brexit is the big ticket item in this election and our 'Manifesto for Angling' makes it crystal clear that we don't want to see some of the vital EU environmental protections that have helped to clean up our rivers and seas sacrificed as part of a shoddy political fix. Nor do we want to see marine species like bass and cod threatened by allowing commercial fishermen freedom to exploit regardless of the condition of the stocks."

You can download a copy of the Angling Trust's '2017 Manifesto for Angling' by following this link.

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