Subject: UK Fisheries Project Consultation Paper.

Dear Members of the Tackle Trade/sea anglers

Earlier this year, following a meeting with leaders of the Fishing Industry about the state of the Fishing Industry due to the  fish stock crisis, the Prime Minister directed the Cabinet Office’s Strategy Unit , a think tank operating at the highest level of government to study and report on the medium and long term future for the Fishing Industry (mainly because they are worried about the  political fall out in Scotland). It was also expressly stated the study should include sea angling and tourism.
This consultation is an integral part of the study and can be accessed at
www.strategy.gov.uk/2003/fish/index.shtml or the longer route which is visiting www.strategy.gov.uk, scrolling down and clicking on strategy unit, then UK Fisheries project, then scroll down to Consultation and click.  

The consultation document can be viewed on line or downloaded in pdf form and responses can be made on line or by post.
I’m not sure how much you know about this Consultation. Hopefully you have
responded to it already because it affords a rare opportunity to bend the
Prime Minister’s ear about the potential of sea angling and the dire input sea
angling and sea angling industries receive in fisheries management. 

In fact reference to the box marked “recreational” on page 8 headed “About You”
actually invites sea angling industries to respond as interested parties.
The minus side involves 46 questions most of which only seem loosely
related to sea angling.

However the opportunity still exists to put over a few issues of interest to sea angling industries and above all to establish that the late but not lamented mantra of the Ex Minister for Fisheries that commercial fishing is about livelihoods and sea angling about sport is a load of codswallop.
And the advice at the beginning of the consultation does say: ‘Feel free to concentrate on questions which are central to your area of interest’. So a recreational interest could be communicated by clicking or ticking the “recreational” box having a grouse about the CFP, the detrimental affect it has had on you/your business due to chronic over-fishing and the fact it still fails to acknowledge the value of your industries in 8 and in 44 request fishery management schemes similar to those now adopted in many other countries which support sea angling industries e.g the striped bass scheme on the East Coast of the
United States,  barramundi in Australia, silver kobh in Namibia, even bass in
Ireland, with a request that the Strategy Unit investigate such schemes. So if time is short you could provide an effective response in say 10 minutes spent on line just by a tick and a couple of replies.
Opportunities to impact at such a high level are rare in my view it is too good an opportunity to miss.

It is reassuring to know that two of the four experts on the Strategy Unit’s panel of experts are very pro sea angling a decent individual response from sea angling industries will allow them to expand their views on sea angling to the Strategy Unit and the PM.
I know you probably won’t thank me for it but I’m counting on you for a good response in the common interest. Hell there’s gold in that water if only we could stop the management turning  all of it into clay.
I wouldn’t be wasting your time if I didn’t believe there was some hope of real progress.
Please pass this message on.

FrankB

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