The Angling Trust is disappointed to hear of the resignation today of the Fisheries Minister, George Eustice MP. In a statement triggered by the prospect of a delay in leaving the European Union, Mr Eustice said:

“It has been an honour to work alongside so many talented individuals at Defra over the past five years. Defra has phenomenal expertise and, more than any other government department, has embraced the opportunities posed by our exit from the EU. I have particularly welcomed the chance to craft two new Bills on farming and fisheries, which are the first for half a century, as we have prepared the ground to restore self-government in this country.”

Angling Trust Policy Chief Martin Salter said:

“This is a critical time for fisheries management in the UK and with an important Fisheries Bill currently going through Parliament we really could have done without losing an experienced minister who at least understood the key issues and was prepared to help us carve out a stronger role for recreational sea anglers in the future.

“Whoever succeeds George Eustice, it is vitally important that they honour the commitments given to the Angling Trust on both funding and the recognition of sea angling during the Committee Stage of the Fisheries Bill. Work must also continue to secure modern and sensible fisheries management in the UK, based upon sound management and strong sustainability principles, recognising the important role of recreational sea angling, both in terms of its economic value to the UK and the tourism opportunities it creates.

“As Minister, George Eustice had come to understand this and, although we had our differences, we were able to work collaboratively and constructively with him at times. We thank him for his support and look forward to welcoming the new Fisheries Minister and will seek to have the same constructive approach once they are in post.”