Two of the sport’s most influential men have threatened the Environment Agency with legal action after the Government body banned the stocking of the fish species recognised as the saviour of winter fishing on commercial fisheries.
Stocking of the F1 carp ¬ a KHV-immune hybrid of the common and crucian carp ¬ has been deemed illegal in fisheries at risk of flooding due to the threat they pose should they get into nearby river systems ¬ a decision that could devastate fisheries around the UK.
Lindholme Lakes, one of the biggest and most successful venues in Britain, has already been told it can no longer stock the hybrid.
The decision has left boss Neil Grantham ¬ whose award-winning Doncaster fishery is designed to cater for the species ¬ ‘disgusted and devastated’ by the policy.
“I’m in discussion with legal experts and I’m going to fight this ridiculous decision,” said Neil.
“I was advised by the EA to stock F1s because they’re immune to KHV and feed throughout the winter, so I’ve designed all my lakes for them.
“The sport this fish provides is in such demand that I had plans for stocking new lakes with them, but those dreams have been shattered.” Simon Hughes, the creator of the F1 carp along with Kent-based Riverfield Fish Farm, is the UK’s biggest supplier of the species and has also been left in a difficult position by the EA’s stance.
Set to lose over £50,000 worth of business per year due to the policy, Simon is also seeking legal advice to challenge the EA’s ruling.
“There is no rational reasoning behind this ludicrous decision and I don’t think the EA has the first clue about how this will affect our businesses,” said Simon.
But despite the threats of legal action from both parties the EA stands by its decision.
“We recognise that carp hybrids are popular with some fisheries and anglers, so we have supported the development of fisheries by allowing them to be stocked in appropriate waters,” said an EA spokesperson.
“We will not allow them to be stocked in waters where there is a risk of them escaping to rivers or other fisheries, as this could be damaging to those fisheries and the environment.
“Our position on the consenting stocking of carp hybrids has not changed. On occasion, the status of water may alter due to changes in the floodplain or where new information comes to light. In these cases, we may have to reconsider consent.”