ACA Wins Compensation after Anglian Water Kills 1,000 Coarse Fish

 

The Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA) has secured £2,500 in compensation on behalf of the Whittlesey Angling Association (WAA), an ACA member club, for a pollution of Whittlesey Dyke.

 

In September 2004, a discharge of 2 million litres of raw sewage from Whittlesey Sewage Treatment Works caused a huge plume of polluted water to affect 3km of the Dyke, killing at least a thousand fish, most of which were roach and bream.

 

The Environment Agency had successfully prosecuted Anglian Water for the offence and the ACA then followed up with a civil claim for damages, which will allow the Whittlesey Angling Association to re-stock and carry out other fisheries enhancement work. 

 

Whittlesey AA also hosts the annual British Pike Championships final, in association with Angling Times and Masterline.  This year’s final will be held on Saturday 11 November and up to 450 of the country’s top pike anglers are expected to compete.

 

Mark Lloyd, Executive Director at the ACA said:

”The ACA is fighting at a national level to get more investment into sewage infrastructure to prevent this kind of pollution happening in the first place, and to ensure that water companies have to pay for the damage they do to rivers. 

 

Our water environment is very important to rural communities as anglers contribute significantly to rural economies.  The ACA British Pike Championships Final alone will bring an estimated £40,000 to the Whittlesey area.  Fines should better reflect the impact that pollution can have on this crucial income.”

 

The ACA will do everything it can to fight to make polluters pay properly for damage to fisheries, wherever its member clubs’ waters are affected.”

 

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Angling Clubs Match ACA’s £1,000 reward to catch polluters

 

Clitheroe Anglers and Ribblesdale Angling Association have each pledged £500 to match the Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA) £1,000 reward to catch the polluters of the River Ribble. £2,000 is now on offer to anyone who can provide the necessary information.

 

Thousands of fish are thought to have been killed after several tonnes of an oil residue was poured into a storm drain at Barrow Beck and then Swanside Beck on three separate occasions in July 2006.

 

Although in the earlier incident at Barrow Beck the Environment Agency intercepted the pollutant before it entered the river, on the last two occasions (on 27th July and 28th July 2006), the oily material entered the Ribble between Sawley and Brungerley Bridge, filling the river almost to its complete depth.  Eventually, around 8 tonnes of the substance were pumped from the water.

 

The Environment Agency also used pumps to re-oxygenate the water, but this did not prevent the deaths of many brown trout, sea trout, grayling and salmon.  Following this catastrophic event, the river’s ecosystem may take years to recover.

 

All this comes as the Environment Agency has been investing in a new pilot scheme to bring the Ribble Catchment into line with the European Water Framework Directive which aims to restore good ecological status to the aquatic environment.

 

The polluters have not yet been found, but it is hoped that the reward put forward by the ACA and two of the worst affected angling clubs will encourage those people who care about their local environment to come forward with any information which may lead to a prosecution or a successful civil claim against those involved.  We would be very grateful if you could reproduce the amended notice overleaf in your publication.

 

 

WANTED

Information leading to the prosecution and/or a successful civil action against polluter.

 

£2,000 REWARD

 

The Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA) is a not-for-profit organisation which takes action against river polluters on behalf of its member fishing clubs.

 

The ACA, Clitheroe Anglers and the Ribblesdale Angling Association hereby offer a reward of £2,000 for information leading to the successful prosecution or civil action against the person or persons responsible for flytipping liquid waste into a storm drain at Swanside Beck on 27th July and 28th July 2006.

 

The waste material – believed to be oil residue from bio-fuel manufacture or refining – eventually entered the River Ribble between Sawley and Brungerley Bridge causing the death of many fish and ongoing damage to the river ecosystem.

 

Please contact the ACA on 01568 620 447 or email (justin@a-c-a.org), in complete confidence,  if you have any information on the identity of the person(s) responsible for this devastating pollution.

 

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ACA wins damages for anglers as Environment Agency’s hands are tied

 

The Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA) has won £2,000 damages on behalf of the Guisborough Angling Club, an ACA member, for the pollution of Howl Beck.

 

In June 2003, a seal on the main sewer at Tocketts Pumping Station, owned by Northumbrian Water, burst causing storage tanks to be filled with the excess sewage. Once the tanks filled, the water utility discharged raw sewage into the Beck from the upstream pumping station. This discharge lasted for 14 hours, devastating 4.5 km of the river and killing over 6000 fish in the process; around 3,200 brown trout alone were killed.

 

The Environment Agency was unable to prosecute Northumbrian Water as it took the view that no criminal offence had been committed. The ACA argued that although the water company did have consent to discharge sewage into the river, such a consent is not a defence to a civil claim where a nuisance has been caused. The water utility was also negligent in failing to use tankers to remove excess sewage as advised by the Environment Agency.

 

Northumbrian Water denied liability and so the ACA was left with no alternative but to issue proceedings a court. Shortly afterwards, the water utility offered to settle the case.  The damages will enable the GAC to re-stock the river, which is very slowly recovering from this catastrophe.

 

Mark Lloyd, Executive Director at the ACA commented, “it is clear that water companies have a vital role in preventing water pollution. Where they fail to keep our waterways pollution-free, they deserve to find themselves on the receiving end of legal action.

 

This case again shows that the ACA will make sure that all our member clubs will receive the necessary legal protection, ensuring that polluters, whoever they are, pay to restore fisheries to their original state, even where the Agency is unable to prosecute.”

 

 

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