revealed: FOUR ways the angling trust will use £4.6M!

The Angling Trust has revealed how it intends to spend a whopping £4.6m cash windfall from the Environment Agency.

As we reported last week, the EA has awarded angling’s governing body a four-year contract worth £1.15m annually. 

Now the Angling Trust has announced details of its spending plans, which address poaching, littering, fisheries enforcement and interaction with the nation’s one million-plus anglers over the next four years.

In addition, it has revealed how it will use a further £800,000 awarded by Sport England to promote participation and competitive fishing over the next two years.  

In this exclusive report, leading officers from the Angling Trust explain more about its plan to help the future of fishing...

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1) Enforcement

Dilip Sarkar MBE, National Enforcement Manager for the Angling Trust, says: 

“The Fisheries Enforcement Support Service continues to coordinate a partnership approach to fisheries crime through Operations Traverse and Leviathan – in which the Voluntary Bailiff Service plays a key role – while our Building Bridges team educates migrant anglers from Eastern and Central Europe regarding angling law, integrating them into our conservation-based culture.”

Goals and achievements

l We have recruited nearly 500 Volunteer Bailiffs to help reduce poaching, fish theft, fishing licence evasion and other crimes. Their presence is helping reduce the fear of crime that can deter people from going fishing.

l In the last year volunteer bailiffs across England undertook 10,978 patrols, contributing 25,054 hours to protecting fish and fisheries. A total of 102 patrols were jointly carried out with the Environment Agency, and 70 with the police.

l The Fisheries Enforcement Support Service initiated and coordinated Operations Traverse and Leviathan, targeting illegal fishing and fish theft, involving the Environment Agency and police in England and Wales.

l We ran Fisheries Enforcement Workshops across six regions in England, providing training from the policing professionals of our Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers and police Rural & Wildlife Crime Officers, and our partners at the Institute of Fisheries Management and Cefas Fish Health Inspectorate.

l Our Building Bridges team provided signage and material in up to 12 languages to educate and integrate migrant anglers. They have taught over 1,000 children the ways of UK fishing and provided events for them to catch their first fish. This reaches out to their parents as well.

2) Litter & the environment

Mark Owen, Head of Freshwater for The Angling Trust, says: 

“We will continue to raise awareness and encourage anglers to take part in our Take 5 campaign. This initiative revolves around anglers spending five minutes of their time to pick up litter from the bank after their session, or taking five items of litter home with them.”

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Goals and achievements 

The Angling Trust works with its extensive network of more than 2,200 clubs, fisheries and trade members to promote angling club litter clean-ups in which which anglers in their thousands take part across the country (see here). In addition to our Take 5 campaign we encourage anglers to send their used line for recycling with the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme, all in partnership with the Environment Agency

3) Interaction with Angling comunity

John Cheyne, Regional Co-ordinator for the Angling Trust, says:

“Our Regional Fisheries Forums are a fantastic way for ourselves and the Environment Agency to meet with grass roots anglers, clubs and fisheries right around the country.

“We are delighted that these events will continue under the new contract and look forward to tackling local issues and getting anglers involved with positive initiatives that help to create better fisheries and get more people fishing.”

Goals and achievements 

Over 1,000 anglers attended 33 regional forums held all over England in the last 12 months, giving anglers the chance to have their say on important issues that affect them at both a national and local level.

l Digital engagement across eight regional Facebook groups which promote key campaigns, help spread good angling practice and support and promote local fishing clubs right round the country.

Read about Angling Trust work delivered on behalf of the Environment Agency at our blog

4) Predation & invasive species

Mark Owen, Head of Freshwater for the Angling Trust, says:

“The Fisheries Management Advisors will be continuing to advise clubs and fisheries on predation matters, so please contact them with any issues that you have around cormorants, goosanders, otters and seals. 

“We will also be administering the Angling Improvement Fund, on behalf of the Environment Agency, which reinvests money from licence sales in projects to protect fish stocks from predation.”

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Goals and achievements

In the last 12 months our Fisheries Management Advisors were contacted more than 900 times to provide fisheries specialist support on predation. 

In four years we have distributed over £480,000 provided by the Environment Agency for otter fencing and other deterrents through the Angling Improvement Fund.

From signal crayfish to floating pennywort, we have supported initiatives such as the Check, Clean, Dry campaign to help stop the spread of invasive non-native species.