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Steve Partner from Angling Times sent me this to post, it is the article in it's entirety in today's A.T. I have also been sent Keith's comments to print on here, so now none of you need purchase the Angling Times as it is here word for word, I hope this helps .

 

ANGLERS have been urged to boycott buying this year’s rod licence in protest over the removal of fish from our rivers and lakes.

Influential TV and radio star Keith Arthur wants anglers to join him in both not buying a licence and not going fishing during the first two weeks in April as a

protest over foreign anglers taking fish for food.

Having lost faith with how long it is taking to secure new laws to protect our stocks, Angling Times columnist Keith is encouraging anglers to force the Environment Agency to speed up the process.

“Until we have laws saying that no fish can be taken, then every fish in our lakes, rivers and canals is under threat. By not going fishing during the first two weeks in April, I believe we can convince Government that we mean business – direct action has worked in the past, just look at the fuel blockades a few years ago,” said Keith.

The EA responded by assuring anglers that it is making every effort to see that coarse fish are protected in the new Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Bill that is being drafted by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

“We hope to have the new Fisheries Bill drafted by April for the autumn Parliamentary session – hopefully, we will have new byelaws protecting stocks by 2008,” said EA fisheries policy advisor Adrian Taylor.

“Coarse fish removal will be top of the agenda because we know anglers are expecting the issue to be resolved. We’ve been trying to introduce new byelaws since 1995 but were challenged by the legal provisions in the current Act under which new byelaws are made.

“The new Bill can resolve this and, given new powers, we will look at bringing in restrictions on the removal of fish from rivers. Stillwaters could prove more difficult because of the issue of theft, which will be something for Defra to resolve,” he said.

But, having spoken to a top-level source at Defra, AT can reveal that no new legislation looks likely to be passed to protect private stillwater stocks because such laws would be difficult to enforce.

Angling’s governing bodies, through the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (Fact), argue that a boycott is misguided.

“Fact is opposed to any boycott of the rod licence or fishing. It wouldn’t speed up the legal process. Instead, it would adversely impact on the industry from manufacturers to fisheries, and threaten jobs,” its spokesman stated.

 

Reaction

» Angling Times editor Richard Lee: “I’m right behind Keith – to listen to insiders at Defra admitting they won’t make changes because the laws can’t be enforced is sickening. Enforcing all fisheries legislation is difficult, but the law still acts as a deterrent.”

» Matt Hayes: “I sympathise with Keith’s concerns and would back him 100 per cent. If the Agency hasn’t got the power to protect our stocks, then what’s the point of buying a rod licence?”

» The Specialist Anglers Alliance: “It is an environmental crime to remove fish from our rivers and we would like to see more emphasis placed on bailiffing by the EA.”

» Des Taylor: “I agree with Keith that something needs doing, but not fishing seems unproductive – we would end up hurting the very people we need to protect.”

» NAFAC: “We are aware that there are problems with fish removals and we will be talking to Defra to push for new legislation. But Keith will be knocking the wrong people with this proposed boycott – stopping fishing for a fortnight won’t affect the Government.”

» John Wilson: “I don’t think that the majority of anglers will want to stop fishing for a fortnight. I can see what Keith is concerned about and I share his concerns. I’d like to see byelaws changed so that mature fish can’t be taken.”

» NFA: “We wouldn’t support a boycott on angling. There are worrying racial undertones to claims that immigrants are stealing fish.”

 

Keith’s comments…

There have been many words spoken and written on the subject of fishery byelaws and bag limits which allow the legal removal of coarse fish. These limits vary from two to unlimited amounts and in many instances are not species or size-specific.

This means that if you catch a 30lb carp and a 10lb barbel from a river on the same day, you will be legally entitled to kill and remove them. No law protects those fish, and don’t kid yourself that privately-owned fisheries are immune, because they are not. It is quite possible for someone to poach a syndicate stretch of river and do exactly the same, because the controlling club or angling body does not own the fish. At best, a prosecution could be brought for trespass...in other words, there’s no chance of a conviction.

As you know, through this column and outside of it, I have been asking our governing bodies to press for a change in legislation, making it illegal to remove any sizeable coarse fish without direct consent from the local fisheries department from any fishery where ownership of fish cannot be proved: in other words, natural stocks. This wouldn’t involve limited numbers of undersized fish for use as bait by the way, say six fish per day under 8ins/20cm.

I think the time has come for we anglers to make a noise that everyone will hear, from NFA regional officers to the Minister of Sport. I have never been one for direct action, but as it has been proven to work in other fields, such as reducing the increase in fuel duty, this is what I propose: for the first two weeks in April we don’t go fishing. We used to have a three-month closed season, so 14 days, from April 1 (a relevant date if there was one!) to April 14 inclusive, we stay at home.

You may not think that will have a very great effect, but think a little harder: you will not need to buy your rod licence until you fish, so the EA will receive no licence money for two weeks. I know that those paying by direct debit cannot join our protest; maybe they’d like to email or write to the EA stating their disgust at the lack of action.

I have been radical before, but never militant. I am actually at White Acres during that time, so unless we have some action, when I as self-appointed shop steward will call for a restoration of normal activity, I will not be fishing while there. I don’t expect the anglers already booked and paid for their festivals to join in either, they can do what the direct debit payers do. But I honestly feel we must do something.

If you don’t agree and are prepared to let those who make decisions for us carry on with the status quo, watching prime breeding fish being systematically removed from our natural fisheries (a situation that is far more insidious than the problems posed by cormorants), then I have misread the situation and will simply let it lie.

I will just say this: the death of thousands of specimen fish in this country will be on your conscience.

I am a match angler .....not an anti-Christ!!!]

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I do quite agree with the sentement but i think on line sums it up, » NFA: “We wouldn’t support a boycott on angling. There are worrying racial undertones to claims that immigrants are stealing fish.”

That why it wouldnt work. Any boycott or protest march would automaticly be branded raceist.

could you imagine the headlines...and what angling mag or tv person is going to put there name to that.

 

We've had a large nummber of fish "taken" from our local cannal not by immigrants but but fishery owners, I dont mean the odd silverfish but "good hauls" of carp and tench, now match weights have gone down from over hundreds of pounds too less than double figures. When the EA was conntacted about this there responce was that they couldnt do any thing unless the theaves were caught in the act. But a phone call from a worrid resedent over looking the stretch while it WAS going on was meet with the responce "by the time we got there, they'll be gone".

So even if laws were passed policeing them would be virtualy impossable.

But something should be done to protect or fish for future generations of anglers but what I dont know. :)

Never test the depth of water with both feet.

Stuff work go fishing.

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please correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't postponing buying your licence merely *delay* the revenue, not *reduce* it? It doesn't get cheaper for being 2 weeks late, does it?

Bleeding heart liberal pinko, with bacon on top.

 

 

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Keith Arthur influential :bigemo_harabe_net-163:

 

He's the only angler I'm aware of who has his own weekly national radio show, so I'd definitely class him as influential.

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Sometimes I wonder just where you are coming from Peter Waller!

 

Perhaps you are unaware that Keith Arthur , writes for several angling publications,Hosts the ONLY angling radio program "Fisherman's Blues" in the UK, 2 full hours on Saturdays, two full hours on Sundays EVERY weekend, he hosts "Tight lines" on Sky TV, is without a shadow of doubt THE most knowledgeable angler living on these shores AND goes fishing with Martin Slater MP occasionally, if Keith is not influential then please tell me who is? I sometimes get the feeling just because he used to be a top class match angler certain elements of angling reject him and his views out of hand, he is not always correct Peter, and believe me there are plenty out there that soon tell him if that is the case, but the man is never far wide of the mark and most of the time he nails it! :nonono:

I am a match angler .....not an anti-Christ!!!]

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I certainly hope he isn't influential. He is totally incapable of holding a reasonable discussion with anybody who disagrees with his own narrow way of thinking without completely losing his rag. I have listened to him arguing with quite polite and inoffensive non-anglers on his programme, when he became so personally abusive that I ended up siding with the non anglers!

His heart might be in the right place, as they say, but as a public representative of angling in general, the bloke is a complete disaster.

English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal water, nestling in green nowhere, armoured and effete, bold flag-bearer, lotus-fed Miss Havishambling, opsimath and eremite, feudal, still reactionary, Rawlinson End.

 

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"I have listened to him arguing with quite polite and inoffensive non-anglers on his programme, when he became so personally abusive that I ended up siding with the non anglers!"

 

Well! That sort of logic cannot be argued with! so even if Keith is 100% correct ,you will take the opposing stance?

 

No small wonder Angling is so poorly represented in this Country when your fellow anglers have to rely on logic like that!

:huh:

I am a match angler .....not an anti-Christ!!!]

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It's all very good having laws - the only problem is that they need to be enforced. For as much as I have no problem with the law being changed regarding fish being taken, how is it going to be policed?

 

I witnessed a young man being savagely beaten in the street in an unprovoked attack. When I approached, the attackers ran off and I took the young man in my home while I called 999. Three hours later the police turned up.

 

Now this is not an isolated incident. Car crimes, burglaries etc, the police will give you a crime number for your insurance and that's about it.

 

So imagine telephoning in the middle of the night. 'Quick, get the squad cars out, someone has just caught a roach and he's taking it home with him to eat'. They can't get out to people being beaten up, I'm sure that a few fish being eaten is hardly likely to set the blue lights a-flashing.

Check out my weekly Angling Journal at.....Stewart Bloor's Angling Journal

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"I have listened to him arguing with quite polite and inoffensive non-anglers on his programme, when he became so personally abusive that I ended up siding with the non anglers!"

 

Well! That sort of logic cannot be argued with! so even if Keith is 100% correct ,you will take the opposing stance?

 

No small wonder Angling is so poorly represented in this Country when your fellow anglers have to rely on logic like that!

:huh:

 

 

so thats's who you've stolen your debating style from then bob, i thought the personal abuse was your own idea.

 

if it's racist bigotted idiots like that (and i don't mean you bob, i mean arthur the others you quote) are the people 'representing' us, i'd rather be poorly represented, if at all.

 

and i like the line in the quote from arthur re bringing a prosecution for trespass, he's so well informed he doesn't even know you can't prosecute for trespass, as it's a civil offence.

 

i'm glad i haven't bought the rag for years if this is the tripe they endorse

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