NAFAC has welcomed the announcement by the Environment Agency of an additional method of applying for consents to move live freshwater fish.

From April 2007, Angling Clubs will be able to apply on-line 24 hours a day for Section 30 consents to introduce fish and Section 25 Consents to use an unlicenced instrument to catch fish. As well as being able to track the progress of consents, Clubs will be also able to access former applications and overtype them with simple changes like dates and numbers of fish saving much time and administration. Repeat consents will also be much quicker with request being turned around within one day, direct from the central Fish Movement Authorisation Team, rather than Regional Offices as at present.

The current system is generally acknowledged to be somewhat discredited and evaded, with some suppliers moving fish illegally, because of the delays and bureaucracy often involved. It is anticipated that on-line applications will reduce this.

The new system is being implemented after discussion with the Fish Welfare Group under the auspices of FACT (Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust) on which NAFAC is represented along with the fish supply trade and other angling and fisheries bodies.

Chairman of NAFAC, Martin Read commented, “This result demonstrates what can be achieved by Fisheries and Angling organisations working together on behalf of anglers, angling, and fisheries throughout the country. I hope the improved system will reduce current bureaucracy and subsequent illegal movements so that the benefits of the consent system can start to truly protect our Fish and Fisheries”.

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