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Issue 185  OCTOBER 2010

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Trust Stands up for Anglers with NEW Fisheries Minister

At its first meeting since the election with the new Environment & Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP this week, the Angling Trust set out its strategic agenda for the future of marine and freshwater fisheries and fishing.


The Trust’s representatives emphasised the correlation between the health of fish stocks and economic benefits from tourism. As a result, the Minister offered to involve recreational sea anglers, through the Angling Trust, in the development of a co-ordinated policy on sea angling and tourism.

The Trust successfully pressed the Minister to confirm that recreational sea anglers are a direct user and stakeholder in fisheries, with ultimate responsibility for fisheries management lying with UK Government.

There was also clear agreement to the Trust’s request to appoint a senior Defra official to act as a point of contact for the Angling Trust on marine fisheries issues.

The Minister was less clear about the common ownership of marine fisheries. The Angling Trust, with the support of its legal arm Fish Legal, will be investigating this important but complex legal issue over the coming weeks.


The Trust’s representatives stressed that anglers and fishery owners, who pay £26 million in rod licence funds and own billions of pounds of fishing property rights in the UK, must have greater influence over decisions about fisheries which directly affect their interests. Anglers also spend millions each year improving and maintaining rivers, lakes and canals; the Trust stressed the need for more local and regional partnerships with its members to help deliver the Big Society agenda.

To this end, the Trust put forward draft proposals for a fundamental reform of the way in which fisheries funding should be spent and accounted for, along with suggestions for greater involvement of its members in decision-making. These proposals will now be developed further in conjunction with partner organisations in the fisheries and environmental sectors.

The Angling Trust’s joint Judicial Review with WWF-UK of Defra for the failure of the Environment Agency’s River Basin Management Plans to implement the Water Framework Directive (WFD) properly was also discussed and negotiations between the lawyers will continue.

Angling Summit

The Minister, who is a keen angler himself, was very receptive to the proposals put forward. He agreed to host an Angling Summit later in the year with officials from the Environment Agency and Natural England, the Angling Trust and other fisheries organisations to discuss more detailed issues relating to marine and freshwater angling. He promised to continue discussions with the Angling Trust about the future of fisheries funding and delivery.


Mike Heylin, Angling Trust Chairman said “The new Minister showed a good grasp of the issues and a willingness to listen to the many ideas we put forward. We are delighted that he is keen for the Trust to play a leading role in representing anglers of all disciplines.”

Mark Lloyd, Angling Trust Chief Executive said “This first meeting was important in setting the framework for future engagement between angling’s representative body and the new coalition Government on a wide range of specific issues in the future. We will be following up on the commitments made, and presenting our angling agenda at the political party conferences in the coming weeks.”



As I’m not getting any younger and I’m taking longer to do things I’ve decided to call it a day at the end of the year, the January 2011 paper will be my last issue, unless somebody takes the paper on before then. I draw my old age pension next year and it has been getting harder to do boat reviews in rough weather as I have worn or compressed discs in my lower back and I suffer back ache for days after. I’ve picked January so as all the clubs that report their results can get their end of year league results in for the last time.

I never envisaged being the editor when I took the paper on but circumstances changed all that and the majority of readers seem to agree that, “I’ve Been OK”.  I’ve reviewed some really good tackle and boats(and some not so good), had some great fishing trips, home and abroad and met some really great people who do a lot for the sport, who could ask for more. Mike Concannon assures me my OBE is in the New Years Honours list, perfect.

The job entails biting ones tongue at times and always appearing happy, apart from that it’s not too difficult. DTP skills are useful but not essential as Harvey is happy to stay on if required, I too am happy to help in an advisory capacity for a while, may even do the odd review or exotic trip abroad on expenses if needed.

Many thanks to Harvey for his help over the years and to all the writers, contributors, clubs and individuals and of course advertisers that have made the Sea Angling News the success it is. We couldn’t of done it without you. I hope to be around for a good few years yet and hopefully I’ll find time to go fishing occasionally without having to do a write up on the trip or tackle used.


William Messenger

Junior angler William Messenger a member of Torbay & Babbacombe ASA proudly holds his Grey Mullet 5 lbs 12 ozs 4 dr caught from shore in the River Teign on a bread bait - Sunday 5th September 2010 - Photo courtesy of Dave Stacey.  Full competition details here



* Samalite & Zziplex prizes *100% League entry cash payout * Prize Table

Dates Venue Times HW T

30th Oct Masonic 7pm - 12pm 00.22 1.6, 27th Nov Abbotsbury 6pm - 11pm 22.22 1.6, 11th Dec West Bexington 5pm - 10pm 21.53 1.5

No matches will be cancelled, back up venue to be Preston Beach. Angling Trust rules apply. Payment: 1st, 2nd, 3rd in each zone / 1st 2nd 3rd overall. League membership will be limited to 100. Membership to league no later than 20th February 2010. £20.00 to join the league will go to end of season payout along with sponsorship prizes. 100 percent payout. Non league members will not be eligible for the end of year prize table. Match fees £10.00 entry plus £1.00 heaviest fish. Last entry on the night will be 1 hour before the match starts. Pre-book only. Any other information please ring Denning Tackle 01305 783145.

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