Article - HPMA - The AT Fights Back
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Article HPMA - The AT Fights Back

Discussion in 'The Angling Trust Forum' started by REG PHILLIPS, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    Media Update



    Wednesday, 10th June, 2020

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    Anglers face ‘lock out’ from new Marine zones

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    Recreational sea anglers in England face the prospect of being locked out of some of their favourite fishing grounds if Ministers go ahead and implement the recommendations of the Benyon Review of Highly Protected Marine Areas which was published this week.



    Despite recognising the economic importance of recreational sea angling and highlighting the importance of meaningful stakeholder engagement and partnership working, the Review Panel did not include any angling representatives nor anyone with a detailed knowledge of the sector. Consequently, low impact recreational fishing was treated as having equivalence with damaging industrial practices such as trawling, dredging and drilling.



    With 46 sites identified in the report as candidates for a network of new Highly Protected Marine Zones covering up to 10% of English seas, anglers could see themselves no longer able to fish in popular places such as Poole, Langstone and Chichester Harbours in the South; the Dogger Bank, Wash, North Norfolk Coast and Blackwater and Crouch Estuaries in the East; Plymouth, Falmouth and the Severn Estuary in the South-West and Morecambe Bay in the North-West.



    The Review, chaired by former Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon, acknowledges that the UK currently has a range of protections in place through a network of 355 Marine Protected Areas, which offer protections for a designated feature or habitat within their boundaries. The proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas would go further:



    ...by taking a ‘whole site approach’ and only permitting certain activities within their boundaries such as vessel transit, scuba diving and kayaking. Activities that could have a damaging effect on habitats or wildlife, including fishing (both commercial and recreational), construction and dredging would be banned. The Review claims the introduction of such areas could lead to a significant biodiversity boost for our seas by giving our marine life the best chance to recover and thrive’.



    In its evidence to the panel, the Angling Trust highlighted good practice from around the world where far from excluding recreational fishing many marine protected areas are actually designated as recreational only zones in acknowledgement of the light impact that rod and line fishing has on fish stocks when compared to commercial netting or trawling. Furthermore, the presence of sea anglers in these zones serves to provide a system of enforcement and monitoring which would otherwise be largely absent.



    Martin Salter, Head of Policy at the Angling Trust and author of Keep Australia Fishing (a study into marine park policy) said:



    “Whilst the Angling Trust welcomes any attempt to rebuild fish stocks and reduce the unsustainable commercial exploitation of the oceans we are deeply disappointed that no recreational fishing representatives were appointed to the Benyon review panel and, as a result, no distinction has been made between the negligible impacts of rod and line fishing and the devastation caused by the dredging, trawling and drilling industries. Excluding sea anglers from Highly Protected Marine Areas is not just unfair - it’s counterproductive.



    "We need anglers as eyes and ears on the seas to report transgressions and to ensure compliance, otherwise the whole system will be open to abuse. We also need to build community support for marine conservation and my experience from Australia, where the government tried unsuccessfully to lock anglers out of these zones, showed that such an approach actually damaged rather than improved progress in delivering marine protected areas.”



    The Review claims to be following a consistent approach to existing ‘Blue Belt’ policies in British waters yet recreational sea angling remains permitted in Marine Protected Areas in Overseas Territories like the Ascension Island and elsewhere.



    The Review recognises that the economic hardship of excluding commercial fishing from these zones but is silent on the impacts on the more valuable recreational sector including charter boat operators who form a key part of the coastal economy.



    Stuart Singleton- White, Head of Campaigns at the Angling Trust added:





    “With the world’s oceans in a parlous state and 80% of all fish species subject to unsustainable commercial fishing it is vital that we protect UK waters from over exploitation in a rational and sensible way which commands the widest possible support. As we have seen in America and elsewhere, recreational sea angling is part of the solution and not the problem. We want HPMAs to succeed and for anglers to be fully engaged in the next stage of the process. Unjustified lock outs is no way to achieve this and the Angling Trust will be submitting recommendations to ministers to address the failings in what we hope will become an important and widely supported marine conservation plan."



    Sir Charles Walker MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group said:



    “It is completely unacceptable to seek to criminalise either regular sea anglers or parents and children on holiday who wish to catch a few mackerel for tea or a couple of bass for sport and to compare them with the devastation caused by commercial dredging and trawling. By all means let’s protect our seas and the wildlife they still contain but we won’t do that by alienating the very group of people who fish sustainably and who have a vested interest in achieving meaningful conservation. I shall be making strong representations at the highest level of government to correct the muddled thinking that is undermining an otherwise worthy piece of work.”



    Dave Lewis, Sea Angling author and fishing guide added:



    “I’ve fished all over the world and there is little doubt that the oceans need all the help they can get but in my experience this needs to be done by working with the Angling community rather than against them. If I was to fish a hundred lifetimes I couldn’t catch with a rod and line what a single trawler can land in a day. There is simply no equivalence.”

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    Editor Notes:



    Full review available here



    NOAA paper on marine protected areas in the USA:





    European Anglers Alliance position paper



    More Information:



    Martin Salter - 07976 946033

    Stuart Singleton-White - 07487 526913




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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. smart201

    smart201 Member

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    Thanks Reg.
    I dislike the term Recreational fishing, as we are Anglers, not fishermen?
    I'm aware that the EU deems Recreational Fishing as any non commercial activity such as Angling, netting & spearfishing, so surely if the AT pushed for Angling to be recognised as a separate entity, this would help us in future causes?
    Is the above for activities Boat Based or shore based too, by the way?
    Regards,
    Mart.
     
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  3. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    Both, the HPMA will be shared out between offshore and coastal based zones.
     
  4. TimFB

    TimFB Member

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    The term recreational fishing is however accurate...not only will they ban angling, but it includes foraging, digging bait, crabbing and just about anything remotely to do with our hobby. Our recreational fishing bag limits even include the number of worms, cockles and crabs you can have in your possession for bait and that is coming your way to...
     
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  5. FlyguyUK

    FlyguyUK Member

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    Its not the first time they've tried this and it won't the last. Much of this will be from the scuba diving lot who see themselves as guardian of the ocean.
    Last time it has the Yachties that crushed them when they tried to ban anchoring.

    I would suggest people support the Angling Trust instead of just bitching about them!
     
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  6. MrE

    MrE Member

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    The AT is there to do what? Protect the interests of Anglers or to protect the environment for those that damage it? Personally I believe it should be both and IF anglers are responsible for damaging areas then it is correct that they’ve curtailed for doing so. That might be a painful experiance and thought for us to consider, but there are species of fish, birds, fauna and flora that have an endangered environment that we use or traverse to get to our mark.

    There are many ways in which people, anglers included, damage the environment sometimes unknowingly and sometimes because they are thoughtless of their surroundings. General rubbish/plastics and things that do not biodegrade and I include lost tackle that is stuck to rocks, and obstructions around the coast is the (generally) unseen and therefore usually not considered an issue, but it all goes to damage caused by people and their actions.

    sorry if this doesn’t fit the Anglers agenda, but we do need to consider a balanced view and not a them and us situation. This initiative is not new or unique to the UK. There are many such areas that are protected around the world. Imagine the Great Barrier Reef if it was free to fish and was unregulated.
     
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  7. FlyguyUK

    FlyguyUK Member

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    They are not proposing that public access is stopped at all (read the proposal) - they are proposing banning of Rec Fishing with zero proof that it is impacting the proposed areas. Lets see the evidence first and then an informed decision can be made. This is nothing more than last time - a land/sea grab by divers and eco's.

    Also much of the waste on beaches is flotsam/jetsam bought in by the tides. Certainly on the coastal areas I fish.

    Oh.. and last time round one of the proposed MCZ's ended up having a fecking great wind farm built on it. So much for evidence led consultation!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  8. MrE

    MrE Member

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    yes I understand that it will not limit visitors to areas. But I believe boats will be legislated in their activities and all forms And means of fishing are considered. I think I did see spear fishing and forms of diving included (so many articles about at the moment) as they would have to basically anchor up in some areas I assume.

    I also agree that full information and consideration should be given, with proof to either give the areas the status or maintain what they are at the moment. I am not advocating they brush aside any argument from AT, but it must have a considered and measured approach with information and importantly proof to continue to allow fishing, which means potentially all fishing, commercial as well.
     
  9. dodders

    dodders Member

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    The stance you take is actually not balanced (IMO) as the only group the report seeks to ban from at least the shore locations are anglers. They are not seeking to ban walkers, beach-goers etc, so the argument of us traversing these areas does not hold water. We have all seen the terrible impact that the general public (not anglers) have had on the beaches in recent weeks. Whilst there is a very small minority of so-called anglers that have left rubbish, there will be many more anglers clearing up the mess of the others after their session.
    I am in support of having highly protected areas as our fish stocks and wildlife needs all the help it can get, but surely no-one in their right mind would compare damage done by trawlers, netsmen, companies that dump spoil (mainly lawfully) and other matter into the sea. This report has lumped recreational sea anglers in with those and must be opposed every inch of the way.
     
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  10. FlyguyUK

    FlyguyUK Member

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  11. smart201

    smart201 Member

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    This has now been highlighted on Henry Gilbeys Blog too....
    Mart.
     
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  12. tjarfish

    tjarfish Member

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    The data the Guardian article is probably based on is AIS (Automatic Identification System) which is an anti-collision tool not a statutory fishing vessel monitoring system regulated by fisheries authorities who monitor, surveil and control these fisheries. The article extrapolates from saying the vessels were present in the area to say they were fishing. It does not say what they were fishing for. It does not name the vessels. It incites a kind of xenophobic attitude towards the beneficial owners without saying what flag the vessels are flying. Supertrawlers have been around for decades. Some boats in the Scottish mackerel fleet can catch up to a thousand tonnes in 24 hrs and still the mackerel population has expanded hugely. This kind of reporting needs a critical eye and should not be used to support emotive positions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
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  13. FlyguyUK

    FlyguyUK Member

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    The Guardian xenophobic, thats a first! They are usually radical left and ultra-EU.

    "ome boats in the Scottish mackerel fleet can catch up to a thousand tonnes in 24 hrs and still the mackerel population has expanded hugely."

    Have they?
     
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  14. Pecheur Anglais

    Pecheur Anglais Member

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    HPMA's are an excellent idea in my view. It is clear that marine life has been diminishing for years and more needs to be done. It is good that the AT is involved but I am unconvinced of their level of influence so have three questions for them:

    The AT is listed as a stakeholder involved at meetings, etc with the Review Panel. As the conclusion of all their input was still recommendations for no recreational fishing including catch and release, where can AT go next?

    Has the AT published minutes of the meetings that they held with the Review Panel, so we can understand how their lobbying was received and regarded?

    Reading the Review was the first that I had heard of HPMA's. Is the AT involved with parallel meetings with the Welsh Assembly regarding HPMA's or anything similar?
     
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  15. tjarfish

    tjarfish Member

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    Well there is currently an argument about the size of the stocks between the scientists and fishermen, there always is, with the fishermen saying that the scientist don't know what they are talking about and rely on poor data and computer models too much. But I do recall the mackerel stocks booming into Faroese, Icelandic and even Greenland waters around 2013 so much so that those countries declared unilateral quotas which breached the scientific advice and the EU put trade sanctions on some of the countries. It seems the Marine Stewardship Council agree with the scientists though. It will be interesting when Boris tries to fulfil his promises to the fishing industry.
     
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  16. FlyguyUK

    FlyguyUK Member

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    In 2018 they put mackerel on the alert list and off the sustainable list. There seems to be the usual horse trading around this now.
    But from my limited experience on the south coast mackerel are a lot more scarce than they were even a few years ago. So I know which side of I'm believing.
     
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  17. REG PHILLIPS

    REG PHILLIPS Member

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    Have you sent these questions to the AT or just posted up on here?

    To get some answers send your questions to [email protected]
     
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  18. Pecheur Anglais

    Pecheur Anglais Member

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    Thanks Reg, I did not. I had assumed that as this was listed as the Angling Trust Forum, it was the voice for them on here.
     
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  19. fnb

    fnb Member

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  20. rockhopper 1956

    rockhopper 1956 The cheeky Essex lure fisher

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    they can feck off
     
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