Members of Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust, FACT,
were joined by representatives of other national angling and
Members of Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust, FACT, were joined by representatives of other national
angling and fishery organisations at the fourth Angling Summit with Ben Bradshaw, Fisheries Minister, and Martin
Salter MP, on Wednesday 2nd February at Portcullis House. The one-day meeting was hosted by Martin Salter MP,
the Government’s angling liaison officer, and it included almost one hour of face-to-face discussions with Ben Bradshaw,
the Fisheries Minister.
The highlight of the meeting was the unprecedented invitation the Minister extended to the Bass Anglers Sportfishing
Society (BASS) to meet separately with him and other sea angling representatives to discuss how best to protect
and enhance the recreational fishery for bass. This followed an impressive presentation by John Leballeur, chairman
of BASS, who provided the Minister with his group’s detailed bass management plan.
During the question and answer session, Ben Bradshaw was also able to provide firm assurances that his recent revised
policy on cormorant control would not be amended or diluted as a consequence of external pressures. The controls he
has now introduced would be carefully monitored to ensure both fish and bird populations remain healthy while allowing
fisheries managers greater latitude to apply for licences to control birds at specific, problematic sites.
FACT called on the Government help to revise and greatly improve the funding angling receives in the future.
Because FACT represents a single voice for the entire sport of angling and acts in the interests of some 3.9
million anglers, it will be working hard to develop plans to involve all anglers in the new organisation and to secure
funding from within and without the sport to provide improved services to anglers and fishery owners. FACT will insist
that there is substantial Government support this initiative, particularly as the past and current financial support for
angling has been so unsatisfactory.
This was the first angling summit since the formation of FACT, which represents the main national fisheries and angling
bodies. Among the other issues discussed with the Minister and Martin Salter were the Environment Agency’s consultation
document ‘Angling in 2015’, marine fisheries enforcement and regulation, water resources and planning and the management
of sea fisheries.
FACT members will be building on the huge success of the summit as the new organisation develops and refines its policies
for a strong, unified and effective voice for angling in future.