The Angling Trust has been taking its campaigns for restoring fish stocks right to the top over the past month, with a series of high profile events involving numerous MPs, the Environment Minister, the Secretary of State for the Environment and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
At a catchment management summit last week, involving several CEOs of water companies, the Trust had an opportunity to remind Prince Charles, a fellow angler, of the importance of engaging anglers in campaigns to improve our rivers.
This sustained period of activity followed the recent launch in the House of Commons of Saving the Earth – a joint report highlighting problems caused by poor land management leading to soil loss, pollution and the sedimentation of vital spawning gravels in many rivers. CEO of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal Mark Lloyd presented a copy of the report to Secretary of State Michael Gove on a visit to an exemplary farm in Herefordshire and it was also presented to a group of MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group on a recent trip to Hampshire’s River Itchen.
The Angling Trust also joined forces with other environmental organisations in the Blueprint for Water Coalition to submit evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into the regulation of the water industry by the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
The Angling Trust is one of over 50 organisations invited to sign a declaration committing support for successful, integrated catchment management of our river systems. This initiative followed a challenge to the water and business sector from Prince Charles as part of his wider concern for environmental issues.
In his speech at the summit in Moreton-in-Marsh, Prince Charles said:
“I am under no illusions about the scale of the challenge. The declaration refers to a step change and that is absolutely what is required because the situation is serious. Our rivers and wetlands provide a wide range of ecosystem services; they are the pre-eminent wildlife corridors, places of great beauty, important for many varieties of recreation and tourism and the source of water for human consumption, agriculture and business. Yet, if we are honest, they are neither in good shape for most of these activities, nor are they resilient to the increasing demands of climate change and population growth.”
Angling Trust Head of Campaigns Martin Salter highlighted to Prince Charles at the summit that anglers are often the first to notice and report pollution.
Martin Salter said:
“It is up to the Angling Trust to take the concerns of anglers over issues like water quality and unsustainable abstractions right to the very top and that’s precisely what we have been doing over the last couple of months. Our message to the heir to the throne, government ministers and MPs remains loud and clear: we need to protect rivers, lakes and estuaries much better from pollution and over-abstraction if they are to meet our needs and sustain fish and other wildlife in the future.”