THE Anglers’ Conservation Association has elected radio broadcaster, television presenter and life long angler Chris Tarrant as its new president.

Speaking about his new role, Chris said: “This is a role I am honoured to serve in and I have no intention of being a passenger in the association. I have a great passion for angling and care deeply about our rivers and lakes. The whole concept of conservation was probably invented by anglers, it is a matter of record that we have nurtured and cared for the aquatic environment for centuries.

“The ACA has achieved many changes in the law and industry’s attitude towards our waterways during the last 50 years. I intend to make the public more aware of angling’s massive contribution towards the stewardship of our countryside.”

Bob James, spokesman for the ACA, commented: “Chris and I have fished together for many years so I am very aware of his commitment to our sport along with the conservation issues that surround it.

Chris will be joined by our new vice president, angler, writer and broadcaster John Bailey, plus two of the country’s best fisheries scientists – Dr Mark Everard and Simon Evans – both dedicated anglers and conservationists who are also joining our committee. Together they will be fronting a very successful team here at the ACA.”

The ACA is continuing its fight against pollution of British waterways. Two years ago it gained a record £415,000 following pollution of the River Eden.

Bob added: “At present we have 41 cases on our books and in the last year we have recovered well over £100,000 in damages. Since January we have issued proceedings on six cases ranging from a canal in Cheshire to a sea trout river in north Wales.

“Many of our cases involve controversial and novel problems from farmers carrying out land drainage work that damages a fishery to discharges affecting invertebrate life and the impact of Environment Agency flood defence work.

“It is only the ACA which takes on such risky cases and our success rate has become legendary. We, of course, now find ourselves involved in European Law and have complained to the European Commission about breaches of the urban wastewater treatement directive. In three other areas we have used the new freshwater fisheries directive to ensure that river water reaches a certain quality.”

Midland Angler