Anglers are being called to join the fight to ensure fishing has the backing of all of the major political parties ahead of this year’s general election.
The Angling Trusts ‘2015 Manifesto for Angling’ is a document that outlines the commitments that the sport’s most influential organisation expects from the government and is now in the hands of representatives of from Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party.
In a move that will prove vital to the development of the sport in the coming year , the document challenges each party to endorse and commit to recognising the economic, environmental and recreational contribution angling makes to the community along with pledging a promise to protect, enhance and promote angling.
The manifesto clearly sets out the expectations not only of the ‘trust’ but also anglers, fisheries, clubs and associations and covers areas such as angling participation and promotion, action to create healthy fisheries and cleaner rivers, protecting rod licence income for angling, plus the confirmation of anglers rights of access to UK waterways.
“All of the parties need to know how much angling means to us on a personal level because it’s not just a hobby it’s a way of life for all of us,” said Angling Trust Chief executive Mark Lloyd.
“The release of the Manifesto for angling is vital ahead of the election but it’s not enough on its own. Anglers must join us in gaining support for angling from all of the major political parties.
“If a representative from one of the local parties knocks on your door or is contactable put pressure on them to tell you how their party supports angling and fully understands the vital role that the sport plays in protecting the environment and promoting love for nature and the countryside.”
The document also outlines fishing’s contribution to the economy with more than 3 million anglers culminating to inject at least £3.5 billion each year.
Angling Trust chiefs have already attended pre-election meetings in Westminster in order to gain support for its Manifesto for Angling and have more in the pipeline between now and the beginning of the general election on Thursday, May 7th.
The organisations Campaigns Chief and former Member of Parliament Martin Salter has been instrumental in ensuring that the Manifesto for Angling gains as much support as possible.
“Why should any angler have to cast a vote not knowing where that particular party stands when it comes to the sport they love. Fishermen need to know where they stand,” Martin told Angling Times.
“At the end of the document we have given each party the opportunity to sign a ‘statement of intent’ that gives their support to everything we’ve outlined under three categories which are to promote angling, recognise the rights of fishermen and to create healthy angling environments.”
“We will be publishing all responses received from the parties so that anglers can be absolutely clear which ones are fully committed to supporting angling and helping to improve our fisheries.”
“But we need your help to vote with your feet and put pressure on your party representatives at a local level.”
To view the full version of the Angling Trust’s Manifesto for Angling and find out all about the organisations works visit www.anglingtrust.net or call: 01568 620447.
Over the next parliament the Angling Trust expects the government to show its commitment to the following:
To Promote Angling
• Promote the benefits of angling for the environment, individuals and communities
• Promote angling in order to bring new people to the sport including those with disability
issues and other challenges
• Provide support for our national teams and international angling competitions
• Assist in the development of further programmes to increase angling participation
• Encourage Local Authorities and other public bodies to open waters under their control to
Recognise the Rights of Anglers
• Ensure that government departments and agencies recognise and support angling in their
• Continue to ring fence rod licence income for angling and fisheries work and to ensure that the Environment Agency has the resources to tackle pollution and deliver on the UK’s
Water Framework Directive and other environmental obligations.
• Protect the rights of all anglers to fish without fear of harassment and disruption.
• Recognise that voluntary access agreements are the only way to manage an increase in
water based recreation on inland waters.
• Recognise that anglers have a direct interest in the health and management of sea fish
stocks and consider expanding recreational fishing zones.
Create Healthy Angling Environments
• Improve the freshwater and marine environment for fish and anglers by implementing the
Water Framework Directive and Marine Framework Strategy Directive and reforming the
Common Fisheries Policy to restore fish stocks.
• Remove and ease barriers to fish migration in rivers and stop others being built.
• Take concerted action to address the decline in salmon stocks throughout the UK including investigating the dramatic reduction in sea survival.
• Tackle diffuse agricultural and urban pollution, reduce the demands on water resources
and naturalise rivers to allow adaptation to climate change.
• Develop action plans and research programmes to tackle invasive non-native species such
as signal crayfish, floating pennywort, giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam and mink.
• Support measures to develop whole ecosystem sustainable balances between predators
and prey, including continuing systems that allow fishery managers to control populations
of cormorants and goosanders at sustainable levels.
• Work in partnership with Rivers Trusts and other stakeholders to focus resources and
community engagement in river restoration and habitat improvement programmes.
• Reverse the decline in vulnerable marine fish stocks such as bass and develop a recovery
plan for a sustainable marine fishery with designated nursery areas, commercial catch
limits where appropriate and better protection for estuaries and inshore waters.
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