We are happy to report that two more cases have been successfully settled since our last news update.
In Northern Ireland, the insurers of a construction company have agreed to pay damages to the The Threemile Water Conservation and Angling Association, following a pollution incident at Newtonabbey in County Antrim. In January 2006, O’Hare & McGovern Construction Ltd allowed oil from a tank to escape into the Threemile Water, an important trout, sea trout and salmon river, while working on a nearby school. The pollution caused a substantial kill of aquatic invertebrates. The fishing club, which had worked hard on improving the river’s habitat in recent years, asked the ACA to act after their catch returns dropped significantly following the incident.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) investigated the incident at the time and sent a warning letter to the company, charging them a paltry £29.92 for their costs of installing a boom to contain the oil. For a long period the NIEA would not confirm the identity of the Defendant until the ACA threatened to complain to the Information Commissioner. In May 2007, a year after the ACA’s initial request, the NIEA finally confirmed the polluter’s identity and provided us with the long awaited case-file.
Meanwhile, in Gloucestershire, Severn Trent Water has agreed to pay Lydney and District Angling Club £18,500 in damages following a discharge of sewage into the Lydney Canal from one of their pumping stations in October 2006. The pollution caused a substantial coarse fish kill, including carp, roach, rudd, bream, dace, perch, chub pike and tench and the ACA prepared the compensation claim for the club. Severn Trent was also successfully prosecuted by the Environment Agency for the discharge.
The Angling Unity discussions continue and are now focusing on the detailed planning necessary for a successful merger. As soon as more details, covering subjects such as membership benefits and subscription rates, are further developed we will share them with the membership of each participant organisation. As part of this process it has become clear that the recent attainment of charitable status by the Salmon and Trout Association makes it legally very difficult for them to merge into an angling representative body at this time due to the laws concerning charities. We will in time explore how the unified organisation and Salmon & Trout can work closely together in the future through some form of memorandum of understanding. The remaining organisations are still following a timetable to establish a new, unified organisation to represent all forms of angling by January 2009
ACA 60th Anniversary Auction
We are pleased to announce a very late item entered into the auction, which admittedly, won’t be to everyone’s tastes! Thames Water plc have kindly donated a 20lb 2oz bream found dead but in very good condition in Farmoor Reservoir recently, which they immediately put in a freezer. If you know any amateur or professional taxidermists that would like to purchase what would have been the British record bream, please refer them to the ‘Miscellaneous’ section of the auction catalogue at www.a-c-a.org
We will be extending the closing dates to 30th July for this item, and any other lots that have not been bid for by the original end date of 16th July. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet done so, please take a moment to look at the catalogue and make a bid – we need to raise as much as possible to continue the fight against the likes of the culprits above!
Best wishes from everyone at the ACA.