S&TA Welcomes Government Decision to update Freshwater Fisheries Legislation

Environment and Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw, confirmed in Parliament yesterday that the Government will use regulations under the Regulatory Reform Act and the Water Framework Directive to implement the key recommendations made by the Salmon ad Freshwater Fisheries Review Group

Environment and Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw, confirmed in Parliament yesterday that the Government will use regulations under the Regulatory Reform Act and the Water Framework Directive to implement the key recommendations made by the Salmon ad Freshwater Fisheries Review Group.

The S&TA (Salmon & Trout Association) welcomes this announcement. Changes to the law are urgently needed to improve the freshwater environment and conserve fish stocks. They will give a boost to angling throughout England and Wales.

S&TA and the Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST), on behalf of the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT), worked closely with MP Martin Salter, the Parliamentary Liaison Officer for Angling and Shooting, who played a major role in the House of Commons yesterday during both Defra Questions and the ensuing Fisheries debate.

During a strong speech to MPs, Martin Salter detailed all the concerns of angling and fisheries interests, and the reasons why new freshwater fisheries legislation is urgently required. The minister responded by confirming that all those concerns (detailed below) would be addressed through the proposed regulations.

S&TA director, Paul Knight, said, “We very much welcome this announcement by the Minister and the assurance he gave to Parliament that the key recommendations made by the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Review Group will be addressed in the new regulations.

“We need updated legislation and efficient policies to conserve our water environment for healthy fisheries, with subsequent benefits for all other water wildlife. Efficient, sustainable management of our fish stocks will ensure that the 3.5 million English and Welsh anglers can continue to contribute enormously to the social and economic well being of our two countries.”

Knight continued, “perhaps now Defra will reconsider the cut in grant in aid imposed on the Environment Agency’s Fisheries Department this year and provide the resources required to grasp the opportunities provided by the Water Framework Directive to protect our rivers and lakes, and the management and enforcement programmes vital for the future health of fisheries.”