The welfare of coarse fish has received a boost with the announcement that the first group of awards have been made under the Fisheries Accreditation Scheme. This major new initiative is aimed at improving the management of recreational coarse fisheries, and it is set to raise the management standards of lakes and pools throughout the UK.
A total of 22 lakes have been assessed at five different sites. At each, trained, professional assessors visited made their judgments over a range of total of 22 different accreditation criteria covering water quality, fish habitat, nutrition, stocking policies, fish health, protection from predators and angling rules. A water quality analysis was also made for each venue.
A total of 20 lakes were awarded ‘Gold’ and two ‘Silver’ status. The owners are now entitled to use the distinctive scheme logos at their fisheries and in publicity for a period of two years, after which they will be invited to apply for re-assessment. The successful fisheries are:-
- The Glebe, at Peckleton, near Leicester – 7 lakes
- Hackett’s Lakes, near Nottingham – 2 lakes
- Borwick Lakes, at Carnforth, near Lancaster – 9 lakes
- Angling Projects, near Wraysbury, Berkshire – 1 lake
- Angel of the North Lakes, near Gateshead, Tyne & Wear – 3 lakes
The scheme is a joint venture by the Institute of Fisheries Management, the Angling Foundation and the Professional Coarse Fisheries Association, supported by the Environment Agency. Fisheries are invited to become inspected by qualified IFM professional members using the Institute’s ‘codes of practice’ as a baseline for the standards that will be assessed. If successful, the fishery will be issued with a certificate at gold, silver or bronze level.
Interest in the Fisheries Accreditation Scheme has been high, and further assessments at other lakes will be taking place shortly. Full details and application forms are available from:-
Suraj Roopra, Fisheries Accreditation Scheme, Federation House, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warks, CV8 2RF. Tel: 02476 414999; Fax: 02476 414999; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.fisheriesaccreditation.co.uk