The multi-million pounds fish farming and stocking industry in England and Wales will receive a major boost this month when the Environment Agency’s new on-line fish movements consenting service goes live on Wednesday, December 12, 2007.
 
“E-consenting is a round-the-clock service that allows applications to move fish to be submitted by fish farms, angling clubs, fisheries owners, ecological consultants and crayfish trappers at their convenience,” explained Environment Agency Fish Permitting and Enforcement Manager Sarah Chare.
 
“The new service is accessible by registering at www.efishbusiness.co.uk. The site will steer you through to your own secure personal business page. The new electronic version of the consenting system complements the existing one and paper applications will continue to be processed in the normal way. 
 
“We process about 12,000 fish movement applications every year, and issues consents to stock more than 7.5 million fish of some 30 species. We will be able to give our customers a quicker service that reflects their working needs and also improve the quality of our own consenting.
 
“The new system allows users to track their applications on-line and make date changes, as well as receive their consent documents via e-mail. Customers who register for the online service will also benefit from access to the fish movement records we hold for their business for the last three years, including a mapping facility.”
 
Angling is big business and the fish movement industry helps support the largest all-inclusive sport in the UK. There are estimated to be 4 million freshwater, coarse, game and sea anglers in the UK who spend around £3 billion pounds ever year on their sport. The Environment Agency issues about 1.4 million rod licences every year, and the sport supports 20,000 full and part-time jobs and provides important economic and social benefits to the rural and urban communities.
 
“As one of the main suppliers in the country I am looking forward to the e-consenting system, as I can access my consents 24/7, which is a big help for me personally, and will be a big step forward in our industry,” added Carl Francis, owners of Mainstream Fisheries Limited and member of the Coarse Fish Farmers Trade Association.
 

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