THE Angling Foundation is inviting tackle manufacturers to submit their nets for accreditation in a scheme that will help foster fish welfare and conservation. The scheme – which was announced earlier this year – will ensure that nets meeting the highest standards are identified and approved.

Many commercial fisheries have already begun restricting anglers to the use of ‘fish friendly’ keepnets and landing nets to protect valuable fish stocks for everyone’s benefit. The new scheme – which is entirely voluntary – will enable approved nets to be identified easily by the water lily logo accreditation mark. It is also likely to prompt the development of new products that meet the highest conservation standards.

Interested manufacturers and suppliers of nets can gain this accreditation for their products by following these simple steps:

n Join The Angling Foundation and obtain guidelines on fish-friendly net construction.

n Submit suitable nets for testing and accreditation.

n Upon approval incorporate the ‘Water Lily’ accreditation mark on your net.

Each net will be subject to a series of replicated tests, the results of which will be collated by the accreditation panel. Nets that pass will be entitled to carry the water-lily logo. The testing procedure and the outcome will remain strictly confidential.

In 2003 many fisheries will prevent the use of nets they consider may damage their fish stocks. The ‘Water Lily’ mark will become the anglers’ guarantee that his net is ‘fish-friendly’ and approved by the leading fisheries across the UK. As well as fishery owners it is anticipated that retailers will want to stock ‘approved’ nets to ensure their customers do not experience any difficulty on the bank.

Andrew Reade of Keenets welcomed the scheme. He said: “Keenets are delighted that at long last we are able to be part of a scheme to raise the standards of net products which will benefit fish welfare and the image of angling. Keenets have always been at the forefront of net design and fish conservation and the idea of adding the water lily ‘kitemark’ will serve to rubber stamp all our ‘fish friendly’ products going forward into 2003.

“We join with all the fishery owners in being heartily sick of all the fish ‘unfriendly’ products arriving in the UK from Europe and the Far East. This is a great opportunity to exclude potentially damaging products which can give angling such a bad reputation.

“The added benefit of the proceeds of this non-profit making organisation being used for the promotion of angling is a great idea and a real boost for the sport.”

For further details about joining The Angling Foundation and the testing procedure, relevant manufacturers and suppliers should contact: The Angling Foundation (Nets Accreditation), The Sports Industries Federation, Federation House, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warkwickshire. CV8 2RF. Telephone 024 7641 4999 extension 206.


Tackle and Guns