Article - Angling trust Challenges Benyon Review Over Sea Angling Exclusions
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Article Angling trust Challenges Benyon Review Over Sea Angling Exclusions

Discussion in 'The Angling Trust Forum' started by REG PHILLIPS, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    Media Update



    Thursday, 25th June, 2020

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    Angling Trust challenges Benyon Review over sea angling exclusions



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    The Angling Trust has published its formal response to the government’s Benyon Review on the establishment of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) which had controversially proposed a blanket ban on recreational sea angling in these new zones.



    In their detailed and evidenced based response, the Trust challenges the Review’s lack of evidence for excluding anglers and draws on examples of successful multi-use marine conservation zones established in other parts of the world.





    The Angling Trust agrees with the Review Panel on the need for enhanced levels of marine conservation but argues that these measures should include a role for managed, low impact, sea angling which would not only deliver increased community support but also provide a level of monitoring to aid enforcement and compliance.


    The paper makes the following key points:


    • The Angling Trust welcomes the establishment of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) and is concerned at the parlous state of the oceans in general and of the seas around the coast of the UK in particular.
    • In Britain we have allowed commercial over-fishing to drive down fish stocks to unsustainable levels and failed to effectively manage important habitats for fish and other wildlife.
    • Sea angling generates considerable economic value to the UK economy yet too often it is ignored or marginalised in the decisions taken about the management of our seas upon which our sport depends and this was certainly the case with the Benyon Review which failed to include any representatives of the sea angling sector on the Panel.
    • Whilst the Angling Trust can support many of the Panel’s recommendations we strongly object to their deeply flawed recommendation for a blanket ban on recreational fishing in all HPMAs and their wholly unsubstantiated claims that the impacts of rod and line fishing are comparable with extractive, commercial exploitation such as dredging, trawling and drilling.
    • Rather than exclude recreational anglers (in favour of more expensive activities such as powerboating and scuba diving) we suggest a more rational way forward that will deliver marine conservation objectives, improve stakeholder engagement, reduce economic damage to coastal communities and provide a network of willing volunteers to aid compliance and assist enforcement.
    • The Angling Trust is calling on ministers to engage the recreational angling community in examining the potential for the introduction of multi-use marine protection zones which allow for low impact and recreational activities and which protect fish stocks and restore seabed habitats including the creation of specific ‘recreational only’ buffer zones to operate alongside any new HPMAs.

    The Trust’s response has been sent to all DEFRA ministers.


    Jamie Cook, Angling Trust CEO, said in his letter to Environment Secretary George Eustice:



    “As you move to implement the recommendation of the (Benyon Review) report, and to select the five pilot sites, we ask that you reject those inaccurate aspects of the report, which wrongly equate the impacts of modern recreational sea angling as equivalent to damaging industrial activities such as trawling, dredging and drilling, and ensure that recreational angling interests are a key stakeholder in both the site selection and the management and monitoring of those sites once established. Furthermore, we are calling for the introduction of multi-use marine protection zones which allow for low impact and recreational activities and which protect fish stocks and restore seabed habitats including the creation of specific ‘recreational only’ buffer zones to operate alongside any new HPMAs.”

    The Angling Trust response was compiled by Martin Salter, Head of Policy, who said:

    “We are passionate advocates for marine conservation and not only were deeply disappointed to have been excluded from membership of the Review Panel but to see how unduly selective they had been in their use of evidence. Our response, corrects that imbalance and sets out clearly the wealth of evidence that shows recreational angling can not only protect HPMAs but how anglers are often their biggest champions and guardians. Ministers now need to reflect on the best way to achieve much needed marine conservation without triggering a wholly unnecessary conflict.”

    Political support for the Angling Trust’s position is growing in Westminster following the intervention of Sir Charles Walker MP, Vice Chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee and a keen angler.

    Sir Charles said:

    “Following some of the strong representations already made there is a growing understanding within DEFRA as to the very real concerns that some of the flaws in the Benyon Review have created. I am hopeful that common sense will eventually prevail and all of us with an interest in conservation, a cause about which anglers have always championed, will be able to work together to improve our seas and the life they contain.”

    Tim Macpherson, Angling Trust board member and sea angling publisher added:



    “I have always supported the idea of setting up a network of marine protected areas in UK waters partly to restrict damaging commercial fishing practices but the way this report has been put together will not achieve the objectives it sets out to do. It is also likely to alarm and alienate recreational anglers, the largest stakeholder group in terms of number and economic value. Anglers are also likely to feel that the members of the panel who compiled this report, including scientists and conservationists, have shown a complete lack of understanding of what recreational angling is all about and what it contributes to the nation.”

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    Editor Notes:



    Angling Trust response to Benyon Review







    Benyon Review available here


    More Information:



    Jamie Cook - 07572 231329

    Martin Salter - 07976 946033




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    The Angling Trust are a representative body for all anglers in England and Wales. Our members support the campaigns we carry out to protect fish and fishing and our programmes to increase participation. We are recognised by Sport England as the national governing body in England and promote active lifestyles and maintaining a regular angling habit. We are united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association that uses the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK. Joint membership packages with Fish Legal are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories. Please find out more.

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    WWW.ANGLINGTRUST.NET

    Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350

    Angling Trust & Fish Legal, Eastwood House, Rainbow Street, Leominster, HR6 8DQ

    Telephone: 01568 620447
     
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  2. Beachmanjo

    Beachmanjo Member

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    One minute AT are reps of just England, then it includes Wales, then it doesn't include Wales and now it includes them again!? WTF!?!! I'm sure you yourself Reg have said on here multiple times Wales is not included.
     
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  3. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    The AT has a significant number of Welsh anglers as members, they are representing them.
     
  4. Bigyellow

    Bigyellow Member

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  5. blakdog

    blakdog Member

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    Reg do you know if Benyon is an AT ambassador? I'm sure they made a big thing of it and he s still quoted on their Ambassadors webpage. If he is I can't help thinking they should strip him of that! With friends like him sea anglers don't need enemies!
     
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  6. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    Yes he is still an AT ambassador. Sea anglers concerns have been raised by the CAG which is why the AT response to the Benyon review was straight to the point. Hopefully his position will get the AT a seat at the table in future.
     
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  7. blakdog

    blakdog Member

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    Personally I'd like to see the AT give him the boot ... I think he is simply no friend to the Sea Angler ... if he was we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.
     
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  8. Pecheur Anglais

    Pecheur Anglais Member

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    I can't see why Richard Benyon's position as an AT Ambassador would get AT a seat at the table in the future when it hasn't so far. What has changed?

    I think that in addition to AT challenge to the Review, the AT should challenge Richard Benyon at a personal level to ask him if he feels the honour is still appropriate?

    If he thinks it is, he should explain how proposes to support anglers with regard to HPMA?
     
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  9. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    What makes you think they haven't spoken to Mr Benyon?
     
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  10. Pecheur Anglais

    Pecheur Anglais Member

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    I didn't think that.

    So, if he was asked, what were his responses?
     
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  11. Norm B

    Norm B Member

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    :) As David Rowe said to me after I'd attended a meeting with MAFF, NFSA, BASS, EN and a few others, "don't rock the boat as we're talking to government" and my reply was, "you may be talking to government David, but are they listening"? He was less than impressed with the next issue of SAN when the front page headline was "BASS against MAFF" printed in red. The NFSA were a bit like the AT, say a lot but do less as they wouldn't confront the government on fishery policy. They believed in the "softly, softly " approach which achieved nothing tangible. Looked good in news letters but that was about it, it achieved nothing but they thought it looked as if they were getting somewhere. :(
     
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  12. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    Then they were nothing like the AT.
     
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  13. Pecheur Anglais

    Pecheur Anglais Member

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    Are you going to answer this Reg?

    Saying "What makes you think they haven't spoken to Mr Benyon?" suggests you know.

    Not enlarging on that, as requested, suggests either you don't really know, or worse, that you were just saying it to be elitist and provocative.

    You constantly accuse people of being negative towards AT. Do you not see how you generate that negativity?

    You are seen as a spokesperson for the AT, even if you are not. You really need to think about the impact of your posts a little more. That is, if you truly want to present the AT as a helpful and inclusive organisation.

    You would actually garner a lot more support for the AT.
     
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  14. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    Sorry I cannot remember seeing this, been rather busy of late working with SHACO and the ATSMR.

    Yes I seem to be constantly reminded by those that do not want to join the AT but demand to be spoon fed information to justify their arguments on here, how I can better fuel their fire.

    There are times when I am not able to elaborate more due to my position within the CAG but if you think the AT are not aware of sea anglers concerns and they are not looking into them then you are wrong.

    Should you require more information [email protected]
     
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  15. Wreck fisher

    Wreck fisher Member

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    This is the response I received after writing to my local MP, who forwarded it to DEFRA and Lord Goldsmith. I have taken out contact details.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thank you for your letter of 18 June to the Rt Hon the Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on behalf of your constituent, …….. about the Benyon Report into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).

    I am replying as the Minister responsible for this policy area and I apologise for the delay in doing so. Defra is currently dealing with high volumes of correspondence due to COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.

    Defra appreciates the importance of recreational sea angling to the economy, its benefits to the health and welfare of society, and the contribution anglers and angling bodies make to environmental improvements. I am pleased that you share our recognition of the role of HPMAs in securing our vision to leave the environment in a better state than that in which we found it.

    I have looked closely at your concerns regarding the comparison of the recreational angling and the commercial catching sectors. Their distinct characteristics mean they each warrant consideration in their own right and this reflects the approach which is taken by Defra.

    I met The Angling Trust in July 2020 and explained that we are keen to further understand the evidence surrounding catch and release angling, particularly on the marine environment and fish species. We agreed that we would work together to explore and commission research on the potential impacts and opportunities of recreational sea angling in and around HPMAs. This approach is consistent with suggestions in Mr Benyon’s Review, that there is potential for co-management with recreational sea users who can undertake monitoring and collect scientific data. We would welcome further advice and discussion with recreational sea anglers on how other countries manage catch and release angling within HPMAs, and where the designated area incudes buffer areas for recreational fishing.

    In introducing HPMAs, we note the Panel’s recommendation to pilot sites by placing them within existing Marine Protected Areas. We would consider the socio-economic impact of HPMAs on all sectors, including recreational sea angling, before any decision to designate a site. Our intention is to engage early, and continuously with affected stakeholders in order to mitigate the impact of any new designation. The sites outlined within the Benyon Review are a starting point for the Government and are not pre-determined sites for HPMAs.

    We will be considering the Review’s recommendations carefully over the coming months. We know there will be wide interest from all sectors in the Government’s response to the report, and we will listen to stakeholder views as we consider the panel’s recommendations. Defra will continue to work closely with all marine users to ensure the needs of all are effectively balanced whilst maintaining our aim of a healthy marine environment. Thank you once again for taking the time to contact Minister Goldsmith about this important issue.

    REBECCA POW MP
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