2006 has been a record year for the ACA.  Its most important achievement as been to recover £141,238 in damages for its member clubs, fishery and river owners in 18 separate legal cases.  We also provided free expert advice on angling law to more than 100 angling clubs. 

 

This is the best performance for at least the last 13 years, apart from 1999 when the ACA settled a huge case on the River Eden.  The organisation has also expanded its legal and marketing teams this year, but at the same time balanced its books: a huge success after a decade of eating into its reserves.

 

We started the year by celebrating the marketing suspension of cypermethrin sheep dip.  This was in no small part a result of legal pressure from the ACA.  We continue to campaign on this issue, and we will seek damages for past and future damage to our members’ fisheries if cypermethrin dips are ever re-licensed.  Our lawyers have battled long and hard with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and have lodged several complaints with the Information Commissioner which are being investigated.

 

In May, the ACA forced a rainbow trout farmer to pay £10,000 for allowing fish to escape into a wild brown trout river.  A Court Order was also secured to ensure that any future escapes could be promptly dealt with and charged to the farmer (which they duly were).  Shortly afterwards, the ACA agreed a £50,000 settlement with the Environment Agency as compensation for a flood defence weir on the River Eden which had damaged our member’s salmon fishing.

 

In June, the ACA forced South East Water to pay damages of £8,500 for pollution of Brick Farm Lake in East Sussex after a burst water main washed sediment and road washings into the lake’s feeder stream and caused a significant fish kill.

 

In August, the ACA put up a £1,000 reward for information concerning pollution on the River Ribble from repeated dumping of waste oil.  This was quickly matched 6 times over by angling clubs throughout the Ribble catchment, which caught the imagination of the angling press and BBC Radio Lancashire.  Various leads are now being followed up, and the polluter has not returned.  Our legal team then won £2,000 damages for the Guisborough Angling Club for sewage pollution caused by Northumbrian Water, killing 6,000 fish.  The Environment Agency had been unable to prosecute, but thankfully the ACA was able to take legal action under common law to get some compensation for the club. 

 

Then we won £2,500 for Whittlesey Angling Club, which hosts the ACA British Pike Championship Final each November, after 2 million litres of raw sewage from Whittlesey Sewage Treatment Works caused a huge plume to kill at least 1,000 fish, most of which were roach and bream.

 

Still in August, we then won £15,000 damages for the Potteries Angling Society, for pollution of the River Churnet and the Cauldon Canal with farm slurry which had killed thousands of adult fish and fry, including dace, roach, perch, bream, pike, carp, gudgeon and bullheads.

 

In September, we won the first fish disease case in the ACA’s 58 year history, scoring £13,000 in damages for the Towcester and District Angling Association after diseased fish were supplied and stocked into their waters by Framlingham Fisheries.

 

In November, the ACA launched the Blueprint for Water, (www.blueprintforwater.org.uk) with 9 other environmental organisations, at a parliamentary reception attended by 50 MPs.  The launch saw the ACA on BBC Breakfast, the lunchtime news and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.  We are asking anglers to write to their local MP asking them to sign Early Day Motion 306 supporting the plan.  10,000 ACA members will soon receive a copy of the Blueprint.

 

In December, the ACA won damages of £5,600 for its member club the York and District Amalgamation of Anglers following the pollution of Pocklington Beck with several tonnes of raw sewage.  Yorkshire Water finally agreed to settle the claim following years of intransigence in failing to admit the extent of the fish kill.

 

We wrote earlier this week to David Miliband, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, demanding immediate action to ease the passage of migratory fish through the Tees Barrage and the construction of a new fish pass, 11 years after the current fish pass was built and after countless studies confirmed what everyone knew all along: that the fish pass is not fit for purpose and is hindering the recovery on the Tees.

 

In 2007, the work will continue in earnest: we expect proceedings in Court in the first few weeks of 2007 on cases on the Rivers Brue, Usk, Thame, Inver, Glaze and possible judicial review proceedings in at least 2 other matters.  We continue to be involved in investigating this summer’s KHV outbreak and will fight to defend the rights of our member clubs who have been affected.

 

Mark Lloyd, ACA Executive Director said: “The concerted action we have taken for our member clubs, fishery and river owners this year should send a message loud and clear to polluters that if they damage our members’ waters, the ACA will make them pay.  We hope that our success in 2006 convinces more individual anglers, fishing clubs and fishery owners to put signing up for membership of the ACA at the top of their list of new year’s resolutions.”

 

Notes:

 

Background to the ACA

·The ACA was founded in 1948 with the purpose of using the law to fight to protect the aquatic environment and fisheries.

·Since that time, the ACA has won in excess of two thousand cases and recovered many millions of pounds in damages, which is returned to the members the ACA represents to plough back into angling and the protection of the aquatic environment.

·Throughout our history, we have lost only three cases at trial. At any one time, we typically have about fifty to sixty cases running and give clubs and anglers legal advice across the entire range of angling matters.

·Clubs or riparian owners wishing to join the ACA should phone 01568 620447 during office hours or download a subscription form from the web site: www.a-c-a.org

·The ACA’s Annual Report is available on request.

·Contact point: Mark Lloyd (Executive Director).
Telephone: 01568 620447
Mobile: 07973 468198,
e-mail: mark@a-c-a.org

 

 

 

 

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