Fishery bosses have reacted angrily this week after a Russian newspaper printed a recipe for carp soup and then directed its readers to some of the nation’s most popular carp venues in order to catch the ingredients.
Tony Bridgefoot, owner of Bluebell Lakes in Oundle, Northants, only became aware of the contentious article when seven Russian anglers turned up at his complex armed with the publication, which is distributed in the UK.
Although it suggested that carp could be bought from Tesco, the newspaper, called Angliya, also instructed readers to ‘catch their own’ by visiting Boddington Reservoir near Byfield, Northants, a popular match fishery where catches to 500lb-plus have been taken, as well as Fennes Fisheries in Braintree, Essex, and Kingfisher Lakes in Norwich, Norfolk.
“The number of foreign nationals visiting my lakes is increasing all the time. We have to turn about 70 per cent away because their tackle is inadequate – a 4ft spinning rod is no good for a 30lb carp. The message is clearly still not getting across and, until it does, fishery gates will remain the frontline. The British abide by fishing laws when we visit other countries, such as France – when in Rome you do as the Romans,” said Tony.
John Ellis is fisheries manager for British Waterways, owner of Boddington Reservoir, and told Angling Times that removing fish from such venues is ‘simply illegal’ under new Environment Agency byelaws.
“I’ll be passing the details of the newspaper on to the Environment Agency, who I hope will write to them. It has made an already difficult situation even worse!” he said.
The Angling Trust is currently piloting Building Bridges, an EA-funded project which works with fisheries, angling clubs and the Eastern European media to improve the understanding among migrant communities of the UK’s recreational fishing laws.
Chief executive Mark Lloyd said: “We want these keen anglers to go fishing, but to do so with the right tackle, a licence and a permit, and to put back the fish they catch. The ingredients for fish soup should come from the fishmonger, not from fisheries,” he said.
Angling Times contacted the editor of Angliya, which is the biggest Russian newspaper in the UK, who said that the ‘catch carp to eat’ message was published by mistake, and that he plans to run a retraction, in which he will apologise to readers and the fisheries concerned. Angliya is also to work with Angling Times in the near future to run an article promoting the correct ‘catch and release’ principles.