THE Moran Committee is throwing its backing behind The English Carp Heritage Organisation (ECHO) in its bid to promote sweeping changes in fishery legislation.

ECHO is a 1,300 strong protection group fighting against the illegal importation of carp and other coarse species into the UK, and it is lobbying for tougher legislation on this important matter.  Many coarse fish imported from mainland Europe have been obtained illegally, and they are able to act as carriers of potentially fatal diseases to which UK fish have no immunity.  The consequences can be, and have been, widespread mortalities in fisheries where such fish have been introduced.

Already actively working with the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Specialist Anglers’ Alliance (SAA), ECHO believes that their voice can only add weight to the demands for new legislation to protect the future of angling and fisheries at home and abroad.

Ian Chillcott, ECHO founder and chairman said: “This is a huge and exciting step forward in the battle against the flood of illegally imported fish that threaten our sport.  ECHO has always understood the need to link angling with Governmental organisations and offer a united front in order to achieve the sweeping changes angling requires to safeguard its own future. To have gained the full backing of the Moran Committee has forged another crucial political link and we are delighted that they have given us their support”.
“Echo has become a vitally important link between anglers and Government bodies like CEFAS and the EA.  Now we also have the potential to air our views direct to Government through the Moran Committee.  This new link is provided by the SAA and makes us a much more powerful voice in the political arena.”

The Moran Committee will place the ECHO campaign on its agenda at meetings with key Government departments, English Nature and other influential organisations.