AT a recent meeting of its Nets Accreditation Group, The Angling Foundation formally tested the first batch of nets and allied products submitted by its members.
Five companies submitted a total of 32 products for testing, and 27 of these were approved because they met the guidelines on unabrasive, ‘fish-friendly’ mesh and complied with Environment Agency byelaws on nets and other fish-retention equipment.
During the next few months these and other approved items will start appearing on retailers’ shelves, each carrying the Foundation’s distinctive, water-lily logo and unique approval number. This label provides an immediately visible means of identifying nets that have been tested and have met the required fish conservation and welfare standards. To accompany this process, the Angling Foundation has distributed posters to all angling retailers, fisheries and other interested parties to raise the awareness of the Foundation’s work and demonstrate the differences between approved and non-approved nets.
The scheme is entirely voluntary, and anglers who currently use soft-meshed nets should not experience problems in using them at fisheries across the country. However, those anglers with harsh or rough-meshed nets may find that they are prevented from using them at certain fisheries, particularly at those controlled by the Commercial Coarse Fisheries Association members and by members of Premier Fisheries.
Anglers in doubt about the acceptability of their nets at their normal fishing venues are advised to contact their fishery directly. Anglers who are considering purchasing new nets should check whether their fisheries will require the use of nets that meet their required standards.
Further companies are already in the process of submitting products for testing. The outcome of the tests is confidential to each company, but products that gain approval will be listed on the Foundation’s website (www.anglingfoundation.com).
Notes for Editors
1. The Angling Foundation Ltd. is a non profit-making organisation established to approve angling products that meet the highest standards for fish conservation and welfare.
2. Funds accrued by the Foundation will be used to support initiatives that promote fish conservation and angling education.
3. Current members include Leeda, Pure Fishing, Waterline Angling Products Ltd., Trakker Products, Maver
4. Membership of the Foundation is open to any manufacturer of nets and allied products. Only members may submit products for testing (for which are small fee is levied). Details of how to apply for membership are available from: The Angling Foundation, The Sports Industries Federation, Federation House, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warks.CV8 2RF. Tel: 02476 414999; Fax: 02476 414990