Consultation document from DEFRA over replacement law for section 30 fish movement legislation – anglers’ views sought.
The introduction of fish, whether native or alien, into inland waters can be detrimental to fisheries and to local and/ or national biodiversity through competition, predation, disease transfer and hybridisation, or through impacts on the aquatic habitat. The current system is unsatisfactory because, under section 30 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975, only the act of introduction is regulated, and enforcement is effectively confined to the river bank. Fish removal is partially regulated through various byelaws that require different methods of taking fish to be consented. As the keeping of fish is unregulated and other activities only partially so, the existing regulation fails to prevent/minimise the risk of inappropriate movements to and from inland waters and the fisheries and flora and fauna they support.

Further Government intervention is required by replacing Section 30 and all current byelaw consents for removals with a new scheme that will regulate the movement of fish (including eggs and gametes) and to impose tighter controls as envisaged by the Marine Bill, while at the same time removing unnecessary burdens on the industry or the Environment Agency.

The key policy objective is to minimise the risk posed by inappropriate and illegal fish movements in inland waters detrimental to fisheries and local and/or national biodiversity. The intended effect is to better protect local fisheries and biodiversity, while allowing low risk introductions that are beneficial to angling by significantly reducing regulatory burdens on both industry and the Environment Agency on low risk activities.

A consultation is necessary in order to gain the views from stakeholders on proposals made for a new Life Fish Movement Scheme, so that Defra may get a fuller and more accurate understanding of these proposals on people and their business.

All responses should be received by 10 March 2010.

At the link you will find:
•Consultation Letter
•Consultation document
•List of Consultees
•Impact Assessment