The Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA) is calling for all anglers to make some noise about the Blueprint for Water, launched last week with a media launch and a parliamentary reception attended by over 50 MPs, including several ministers.
The launch was covered on the Today programme, and BBC Television news throughout the day. As one of the founding partners of the coalition of 10 national environmental pressure groups, the ACA is keen to see the Blueprint lead to new initiatives and investment to restore and protect our precious rivers, lakes and canals.
The Blueprint sets out a 10 point plan under 3 headings: water quantity, water quality and habitat enhancement. It also includes a detailed implementation plan which has been drawn up by experts from each of the 10 member organisations over the past 8 months. It has been timed to coincide with crucial decisions on the Water Framework Directive and to seize the opportunity of a new Minister at Defra who is currently rewriting the Government’s environmental vision. The coalition will continue to build the campaign and will be monitoring key decisions very closely.
ACA Executive Director Mark Lloyd said: “every angler who wants to see a better environment for fish to breed, feed and thrive should give their support to the Blueprint for Water right now. Our country’s millions of anglers could have a huge influence on the future of our water environment – and our sport – if they spoke up loudly in support of the Blueprint at this crucial moment. This is a once in a generation opportunity to make a real difference to government policy which affects us all every time we go fishing. It also affects everyone who has children and wants them to grow up in a healthy landscape where wild things thrive.”
To help make the campaign a success, anglers should write to their local MP right now, preferably in their own words, expressing support for the Blueprint and highlighting problems with their local waters. A postcard will do. If anyone wants to find out how to contact their local MP they should go to www.blueprintforwater.org.uk and click on “What you can do to help”. If you don’t have time to write your own letter, you can download a standard text from the site.
Most of the media coverage and Ministers’ attention focused particularly on the fact that angling organisations had unusually teamed up with other environmental organisations to launch this campaign. Now it needs anglers to make it really fly.
Notes to Editors:
A BLUEPRINT FOR WATER
10 steps to sustainable water by 2015
Waste less water
Reduce water consumption by at least 20% through more efficient use in homes, buildings and businesses
Keep our rivers flowing and wetlands wet
Amend or revoke those water abstraction licences that damage rivers, lakes and wetlands
Price water fairly
Make household water bills reflect the amount of water people use
Make polluters pay
Ensure that those who damage the water environment bear the costs through more effective law enforcement and tougher penalties
Stop pollutants contaminating our water
Introduce targeted regulations to reduce harmful pollutants in water
Keep sewage out of homes and rivers and off beaches
Upgrade the sewage system to reduce discharges of sewage into urban environments and ecologically sensitive areas
Support water-friendly farming
Help farmers to prevent pollution and restore degraded soils, rivers and wetlands through advice, training and payments
Clean up drainage from roads and buildings
Construct modern drainage systems that prevent pollution entering rivers from buildings and roads
Restore rivers from source to sea
Regenerate rivers, lakes and wetlands in partnership with local communities
Retain water on floodplains and wetlands
Restore large areas of wetland and floodplain to create vital wildlife habitats, improve water quality and quantity, and reduce urban flooding
Background to the ACA
The ACA was founded in 1948 with the purpose of using the law to fight to protect the aquatic environment and fisheries.
Since that time, the ACA has won in excess of two thousand cases and recovered many millions of pounds in damages, which is returned to the members the ACA represents to plough back into angling and the protection of the aquatic environment.
Throughout our history, we have lost only three cases at trial. At any one time, we typically have about fifty to sixty cases running and give clubs and anglers legal advice across the entire range of angling matters.
In 2006 alone, the ACA has settled 15 cases, recovered over £135,000 in compensation and advised over 120 clubs on legal matters.
Clubs or riparian owners wishing to join the ACA should phone 01568 620447 during office hours or download a subscription form from the web site: www.a-c-a.org
The ACA’s Annual Report is available on request.
Contact point: Mark Lloyd (Executive Director).
Telephone: 01568 620447