Posted 29 January 2000 - 03:36 AM
Surely this would give us more strength?
Posted 29 January 2000 - 05:37 PM
aah, if only!
You are absolutely spot on in suggesting that we need a united front.
But when you think of the divisions within coarse angling, and then between say coarse and game fishing (which we have in SPADES here in the North East), then I think that - for a long time to come - the united front will be a pipe dream.
I hope to be persuaded otherwise.
Posted 29 January 2000 - 08:22 PM
You will (I hope) be pleased to know that in the last two weeks the STA, NFSA and NFA have met together on at least two occasions. SACG, NAFAC and ACA are working with the governing bodies to get to Angling UK, so all the representative bodies see the need and understand the importance of unity in angling.
There may be differneces on the bank but the leaders of angling know just how imoportant unity is.
Th eproblem down the line will not be the drive to unity in angling it will be the question of how the new body is to be funded. There is no 'Governemnt' money for unity and administration so anglers will have to fund this work. From the cries of pain whenever the EA licence is increased and the complaints when club subs go up the danger will be that leaders in angling will be moving ahead with no funds behind them to make it work.
We will get there and hopefully soon.
Posted 29 January 2000 - 09:52 PM
I have been following recent events closely.
What comes down the rivers, ends up in the sea (most of it anyway?), we need to put aside our past divisions and work together.
Could UK Angling possibly work on the same wavelength as the BRFC (British Record Fish Committee)does for instance?
Government funding could well be a no-no anyway, once they realise what power a group as big as this could muster amongst its supporters.
It might be better to seek out the tackle trade, they would be the biggest winners!
Posted 30 January 2000 - 07:44 PM
If UK Angling gets off the ground it will represent ALL anglers, coarse, game and sea and all the Governing Bodies will be aprt of it.
Approaches have been made to the tackle trade for sponsorship and support funds, but with few exceptions the trade is reticent to provide funds. They are happy to suport events which give them a commercial advantage but not so keen on background support. The state of the tackle trade at the moment is not strong and this reflects on their ability to donate.
ATA and David Bird are helping in the drive towards unity in angling so it is not all bad news form the trade perspective. However some of the biggest names in the tackle trade do not support the market which they dominate, mostly apparently because the headquarters are not in the UK and they seem happy to draw profits out of the arena. To be fair to them they operaste in a world market and our local problems are not just for them to finance. Anglers must get used to providing their own funding.
If we all played golf our club fees would be in the order of £1000.oo per year and there would be green fees on top of that. The average club fee is about £35.00 - £40.00 per year so there is little money in angling for Angling UK to draw on. We need a realistic debate as to where the money can come from, but inevitably it must come form angler's own pockets.
Posted 05 February 2000 - 01:14 AM
I can see your point, but very few anglers actually contribute to our sport via a club at the moment, and given the problems we face its not going to be easy getting more of them involved!
If an umbrella group such as Angling UK could get off the ground, would it in fact need heavy funding?
I'm sure there must be a willing sponsor amongst the many companies that sell in the UK. And the first one in would get a huge amount of publicity.
Perhaps all it needs to get started is a little more enterprise from the angling bodies themselves, or is that just a pipe dream?
Posted 05 February 2000 - 02:03 AM
I don't beleive this will ever happen in any meaningful sense. Each arm of the sport, Game, Sea & Coarse, covets its autonomy relative to their 'Governing body' status. In addition, agenda's differ considerably - witness the differences within coarse angling.
Indeed, even today, some single species groups feel that they must at times, fight their own corner so to speak, within coarse angling, independant of others.
NFA at this time are the governing body relative to coarse angling. It has long been percieved that this body does not truly represent the specialist angler, hence the setting up of N.A.S.A all those years ago.
The perception (rightly or wrongly) within specialist coarse angling is that little if anything has changed in this respect.
On a personal note, I feel that if the NFA
was seen to truly represent coarse angling in all its forms, no other organisation, such as NASA/SACG would be required! This would be the 'ultimate umbrella organisation' relative to coarse angling.
Only the NFA have governing body status relative to coarse angling and until that changes (unlikely?) I feel that specialist angling must work within the structure of the NFA, as it does in Scotland (relative to the Scottrish Federation for Coarse Angling,) specialist angling playing a major part within that governing body.
Will this situation ever come about? Regretfully, I think not.
Posted 07 February 2000 - 12:04 AM
I am sorry you see things in such a negative light. PAC were represented on the 23rd and must have witnessed the closeness of the Governing Bodies. Each single specie group will always have its own concerns and need to fight those through the representative body but that won't stop the move towards unity in Angling.
More and more anglers are seeing that unity is the only way we can fight our corner with the national governement and the EU. We must get change in the Common Fisheries Policy, not only for sea anglers but for the benefit of all anglers. The problems in the seas around us are being directly transferred back to our rivers and still waters. Unity and one Voice will help prevent further desecration of our waters.
SACG and NASA represent specialist anglers and angling but there is no reason in principal why we should not come together with the NFA and work within for the benefit of our particular style of angling. The NFA realise that they must change to accommodate the faster moving specialist groups and representation, but recent press reports and conversations lead me to believe that change is on the way and the NFA will be there for all anglers when those changes come about.
Yes in the past the individual Governing Bodies have wanted to paddle their own canoe, but Kate Hoey, Sports Minister, has made it plain that we will only be dealt with by government when ALL angling is represented by one body (Angling UK). Any governing body not understanding this is going to be left on the side lines and again my understanding is that all of us are going in the same direction, maybe at different speeds and by slightly different routes but all have the same end in mind and all want to achieve unity.
With good will and understanding between the bodies I think we could have it on the table inside 12 months.
Specialist angling will need NASA/SACG until there is significant change in the structures we use in angling. Even if the NFA was the ideal body, each individual specialist group would not have the manpower to represent their needs within the NFA structure. There are just not enough activists in angling to do so. SACG do that job pretty well and will be seeking to improve on past performance. A few committed anglers can achieve a lot if given the tools and backing needed.
With a bit of luck you'll owe me a pint when the next but one PAC conference comes around in 2001 and we have unity in the bag.
Funding will remain the problem, particularly for specialist angling. Trade sponsorship is a dead duck. The business cycle is such that the long term needs of angling could never depend on such financing, which by its very nature is short term.
Anglers must face up to facts. We have to pay for our own representation and that means all of us, coarse, game and sea. Personally I favour an addition to the rod licence and the introduction of licences for seas anglers. If that was done we would all be funding angling and club membership would not be an issue.
To carry out serious lobbying on behlaf of anglers and the angling environment will take seroious amount of money. It is not a job to be left with amatuers. The corridors of power are alive with the sound of lobbyists feet and we need to be amongst them. We need to be encouraging youngsters into our sport with promotions and other devices, we need to be persuading the public that angling is a fgood thing and fighting back against the antis. This will all take money and I reckon if we had £1million a year, from anglers, within five years we would see a sea change in the way angling is represented in the media and the 29% of the public who think angling should be banned would be reduced to a more insignificant figure, and a potentially less damaging one for angling polictically.
Hopefully the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Review Board will have addressed this question, we must wait for their report to be published before we can know.
In the meantime, Ralston, go and catch a 40 from a Scottish loch and enjoy the rest of the pike season. Chris start saving your pennies for investing in the future of angling.
Tight lines to you both
Posted 07 February 2000 - 03:19 AM
Plenty of food for thought from both of you, I happen to be a sea angler who agrees that we need a licence system, but I doubt you will find many?
I'm not as sure as you Mike that funding such a body as Angling UK cannot be found from the trade.
It needs somebody with the right contacts to sound this out, but again that means relying on a willing volunteer - something which holds our respective branches of angling back already?
If as you say Mike, Sports Minister Kate Hoey has made this a requirment, why are we not getting more feedback from our leading organisations?
The sooner UK Angling is a reality, the better it will be for all of us who fish - whatever our prefered method.
Posted 08 February 2000 - 02:31 PM
I think all the lead bodies, NFA, NFSA and STA are talking realistically. They each have to go through their committees so no public announcements can be made until they have actually sorted out how, who and what is to be done. A lot of work has already gone into establishing the necessary contacts but there won't be any announcement in the near future.
The S&FF Review might provide the spur by addressing the funding issue. Each body has its strengths but also its own weaknesses and these need to be ironed out of the system before they can systematically come together. I am absolutely convinced that there is good will on all sides and past differences have been forgotten.
The future of angling is just too important to all of the bodies for them to accept failure in this. The SACG, ACA and NAFAC are all working with the Governing Bodies to help progress. Angling's negotiations with English Nature and the RSPB will be much helped by unity and our positions on conservation issues are not that different from theirs. Unity will happen, we need time and goodwill, which I think exists, and a source of funding, which may be the trade but even with good contacts, which do exist, funding has historically been in short supply from this source, just look at the subscribing tackle makers to SACG, most of the biggest names are missing! Even those who make the most out of specilaists.
Most tackle companies are happy to sponsor angling festivals and competitions but they are much more reticent to get involved in funding the politics of angling. AM has yet to use the SACG news release about the meeting on the 23rd. Hopefully it will appear this week in AM. AT did a good piece last week and have been supportive of unity for some time now. It is a topic that hardy merits a mention in the monthlies and unfortunately we have no regular serious angling reports in the national press at all now. It's all very different from the 50s and 60s when nearly all the nationals had an angling column. Those columns won't come back without more anglers on the bank and the PAA and other training schemes will encourage youngsters back into the sport. Once the numbers are up we might once more get the weekly columns.
The important thing is to talk with all your angling mates about unity, raise the profile of the struggle and get them to be making demands on the GBs. The more pressure applied the faster it will all happen.
Sorry this might have rambled, but it's so close to my heart I tend to get carried away.