The Angling Trust has called for access to be reinstated to Lowestoft's South Pier after anglers discovered the local fishing mark had been closed to the public without notice.
Local authority, Waveney District Council, has relinquished its lease on the pier which is owned by Associated British Ports (ABP) which has since closed the pier due to concerns over the cost of maintenance and public liability.
The Angling Trust was contacted by Lowestoft Sea Angling Society who asked for help to get access reinstated to the pier. The popular fishing mark provides easy access to fishing, particularly for young, disabled and elderly anglers.
The Trust has since written to ABP calling for a rethink and highlighting both the economic income that sea angling generates in local coastal communities, such as Lowestoft, and also the National Angling Strategy which aims to bring angling into the heart of communities by opening up, and maintaining, access to community waters, such as piers, harbours and marinas.
The Trust hopes the next stage is to sit down with ABP and local anglers to discuss what options there are for opening up access to the pier - including the possibility of anglers taking over management of the pier as a community asset.
David Mitchell, the Angling Trust's Marine Campaigns Manager said, " This comes after a busy few weeks for the Angling Trust which has seen us buy shares to support rebuilding of Hastings Pier in Sussex and support Weymouth Angling Association's campaign to prevent its clubhouse from being bulldozed. We will do whatever we can to support the reopening of the pier in Lowestoft and hope that ABP will be receptive to our ideas about how, and why, we can work together to achieve this."
Paul Willis, Secretary of Lowestoft Sea Angling Society said, "The sudden closure of the South Pier has and will be a great loss to both anglers and the general public in Lowestoft as it provided relatively easy access for young, disabled and elderly anglers from the local area. The Lowestoft Sea Angling Society would welcome the opportunity to work with both ABP and the Angling Trust to see if the decision to close the pier to the public can be reversed."