Salmon & Trout Association asks members to defend key nature laws

The S&TA is one of 100 voluntary organisations across the UK that have joined forces to call for the protection of Europe’s natural environment and the laws which underpin conservation or rivers and lakes across Europe.

The European Habitats Directive exists to protect the most important wildlife species and habitats in the UK and Europe, including important UK rivers and lakes and the fish species such as Atlantic salmon that inhabit them. Protected rivers include the iconic chalk streams of the Itchen, Hampshire Avon, Lambourn and Wensum. 

However, the Directive is currently ‘under review’ and at serious risk of being weakened.

The S&TA has added its voice to the  ‘Joint Links group’, representing 100 voluntary organisations across the UK, warning that the European Commission’s REFIT ‘Fitness Check’ of Natura 2000 Directives is the single biggest threat to UK and European nature and biodiversity in a generation.

The S&TA fears that the Habitats Directive is under threat of being weakened by those who mistakenly regard it as a block on business and economic growth. The S&TA believes that any revision of the Directive would expose them to prolonged uncertainty and leave the long-term future of Europe’s biodiversity vulnerable to the short-term political priorities of other Member States.

Paul Knight of the S&TA said:

“The Habitats Directive where properly implemented, delivers demonstrable benefits for nature, as well as significant social and economic benefits. The S&TA has successfully used the Directive to protect UK rivers and fish populations. Sadly, now the law itself needs defending. We ask all members to spend a few minutes signing up on the web to show their support. ”

Voluntary organisations have launched the ‘Nature Alert’ electronic tool, enabling the public to have their say in one easy click –

 As part of the Joint Links, the S&TA has contributed to the group’s response to the EC consultation which sets out a huge volume of evidence proving the effectiveness of the Habitats and Birds Directives in protecting nature, providing massive benefits for people and providing a stable framework for responsible businesses. Four short S&TA Case Studies, which show why the Habitats Directive is so important, can be found in the Annex to this release.

Paul Knight added:

“It is vital that everyone who cares about UK rivers, lakes, their fish species and wildlife adds their voice by going to the Nature Alert webpage and registering their support”.