Fishery Action Plans – update

The Environment Agency (EA) last year agreed to four experimental catchment FAPs – on the Lancashire Ribble, Norfolk Wensum, the Lee (Thames) and Wye.

The Environment Agency (EA) last year agreed to four experimental catchment FAPs – on the Lancashire Ribble, Norfolk Wensum, the Lee (Thames) and Wye. The committees are now running and the Lee has even attracted early funding by having several fish refuges constructed to help protect stocks against the river’s serious predation problem.

It is early days with this issue, but the EA now looks as if it might embrace catchment management more enthusiastically. We still have some negotiating to complete, but the experimental catchment FAPs could increase significantly throughout England and Wales this year, perhaps to the situation where every EA area has one on a major river system.

It is unlikely that every river system will support a catchment FAP; realities of funding are ever present with fisheries issues. However, we meet the EA at the beginning of May to try and take this forward and, if successful, it could pave the way for local interests to have a much closer say in how their rivers are managed in future.