The ACA’s initial posting of a £1,000 reward for information leading to a successful prosecution or civil claim against the unknown polluters of the River Ribble has been matched five times over with pledges from angling clubs and individuals.  £6,000 is now on offer to anyone who can provide the necessary information.

 

Clitheroe Anglers, Ribblesdale Angling Association, Mitre Anglers, the Sawley Syndicate, Ribble Fishery Consultative Association, Whitewell Angling Association, Mid Ribble Association, Edisford Hall, Lancashire Fly Association, RADAC, Bowland, Settle Anglers, the Hodder Consultative and three individual anglers have all pledged their support.

 

Thousands of fish were 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.  The polluting 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, but not before significant damage had been done.

 

ACA Executive Director Mark Lloyd said “We have been overwhelmed by the commitment shown by local anglers to find whoever is responsible for this catastrophic pollution.  What this demonstrates is that anglers care more than anyone else about the water quality of their rivers and that when they work together they can be very powerful.  Someone, somewhere knows who tipped this oil down the drain into the river.  We hope £6,000 will be enough to encourage them to do the right thing and come forward with the information we need to take action against the perpetrators.”

 

“The initiative has really captured the imagination of the angling press and regional media in Lancashire.  It is the first time in the ACA’s 58 year history that such a reward has been offered, but it will not be the last.  Offenders are only identified in 40% of pollution events, and we are looking for proactive ways to increase this percentage nationally.”

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