Mark Owen, a passionate angler and recently awarded BSc (Hons) in Environmental Management from the University of Derby, has been appointed as the Angling Trust’s National Environment Campaigns Manager. He first picked up a fishing rod as an 11-year-old, and is now in charge of all of the Trust’s national and international environment campaigns.
He was previously a commodity trader, is a member of the Environment Agency’s Midlands Region Fisheries Ecology and Recreation Advisory committee and a founder member of the Mid Trent Anglers Consultative.
The role will see Mark handle issues ranging from abstraction and pollution in rivers to commercial over fishing and gravel extraction at sea. He will represent coarse, game and sea anglers.
One of Mark’s first major tasks in his new post is to help with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, to ensure all waters in Europe are regulated to "good ecological status" by 2015.
The post is part funded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and one of the first projects he will work on is a campaign to ensure prospective hydropower protection measures on the River Trent do not damage fish stocks. Mark has recently helped to launch the Our Rivers campaign on the River Kennet in Reading with partners World Wildlife Fund (WWF), RSPB and MP Martin Salter.
Of the appointment Mark said, "I am delighted to have been appointed to this post. It is a challenging and exciting time for the Angling Trust and I am looking forward to working with all anglers to improve both the freshwater and marine environments to ensure fish stocks improve for generations of anglers to come".
Mark has won awards for his work and two years ago was honoured, alongside Gopsall Fishing Club, at the Wild Trout Trust and Orvis Conservation Awards 2007 scooping Best Amateur Conservation Project at the National History Museum in London. He did this while working as project manager for the volunteer scheme to help increase trout stocks in the River Sence in North West Leicestershire. Partners in this project included the Environment Agency, Twycross Zoo, the Grayling Society, Crown Estates, the Wild Trout Trust and the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
In addition to the volunteer project work, Mark monitored fish and invertebrate levels as part of his final year dissertation for his degree project at Derby, using various academic approaches to chart the project’s success by assessing levels of insects and fish in the river.
Mark Lloyd chief executive of the Angling Trust commented "This is a very important post for the Trust and we are delighted to have recruited Mark to lead our environmental campaigning. His extensive knowledge, experience and commitment to angling and the water environment were key factors in his appointment. It is also significant that WWF, a global environmental charity, has chosen to support the work of the Angling Trust".