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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A message from Stuart Singleton-White, Head of Campaigns

We’ve launched our HPMA campaign aiming to get sea anglers to write to their MP.

https://anglingtrustcampaigns.net/blog/angling-trust-response-to-hpma-benyon-review

There can be no mistake, HPMA, in their current form will have a devastating effect on recreational sea angling and charter boat fishing in the UK. If we do nothing now we gamble with the future of sea angling in what could be some of our best know historical angling venues.

Anglers on WSF have often asked, "What is the AT doing for sea angling", well now the AT are asking "Will sea anglers help the AT so they can help sea angling". Only anglers can save our sport and we need everyone to take just a few minutes to write to their MP's requesting them to represent sea anglers by giving them a seat at the table. Further information and guidance notes has been set up on the AT website to help you send a very clear message.

Come on guy's, the weather is going to be bad this weekend which gives everyone ample time to contact their MP and make our voice heard.
 

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Its no good the AT going on about how bad these are and then ignoring the fact that one of their own ambassadors has been instrumental in generating the review that recommends that angling is banned in these areas! I wrote to them questioning why Richard Benyon (who was chairman of that review they disagree with so much) was still a part of the AT and this was what Nick Simmonds - Membership Manager said,

"Regarding our Ambassadors we do not require them to agree with
everything the Angling Trust says or does. In a sport as diverse as
ours that would be wholly unrealistic. Richard Benyon was one of
the better fisheries ministers and remains a good supporter of angling.
We hope we can persuade him to support the case we have made."

I can only think they are all on fucking drugs quite frankly! What other organisation would have someone who seems hell bent on getting them banned from major parts of the country as an Ambassador. When I questioned the logic of his reply he started going on about this being the time to "stick together" .... perhaps he should lecture Judas Benyon about that!!!!!!

Reg I have the utmost respect for you and the crap you put up with in the name of helping our sport but those at AT HQ are quite frankly a bunch of morons! They should hang their heads in shame ...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Its no good the AT going on about how bad these are and then ignoring the fact that one of their own ambassadors has been instrumental in generating the review that recommends that angling is banned in these areas! I wrote to them questioning why Richard Benyon (who was chairman of that review they disagree with so much) was still a part of the AT and this was what Nick Simmonds - Membership Manager said,

"Regarding our Ambassadors we do not require them to agree with
everything the Angling Trust says or does. In a sport as diverse as
ours that would be wholly unrealistic. Richard Benyon was one of
the better fisheries ministers and remains a good supporter of angling.
We hope we can persuade him to support the case we have made."

I can only think they are all on ****ing drugs quite frankly! What other organisation would have someone who seems hell bent on getting them banned from major parts of the country as an Ambassador. When I questioned the logic of his reply he started going on about this being the time to "stick together" .... perhaps he should lecture Judas Benyon about that!!!!!!

Reg I have the utmost respect for you and the crap you put up with in the name of helping our sport but those at AT HQ are quite frankly a bunch of morons! They should hang their heads in shame ...

I think it bad of me to complain about a fellow ambassador for the AT but I have to admit I am struggling to understand why Mr Benyon did not insist on the AT being at the table. As a sea angler I expect to be represented when ever a policy, strategy, regulation, restriction is being discussed in the corridors of power, even more so when NE are in the opposite corner.

I really hope sea anglers take up the opportunity to contact their MP's and work with the AT to ensure our voice is heard. There is no doubt the AT has listened to the CAG and sea anglers who have taken the time to contact them. The AT are determined to get a seat at the table and defend sea anglers against any draconian restrictions/bans inside any future HPMA's.
 

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Its no good the AT going on about how bad these are and then ignoring the fact that one of their own ambassadors has been instrumental in generating the review that recommends that angling is banned in these areas! I wrote to them questioning why Richard Benyon (who was chairman of that review they disagree with so much) was still a part of the AT and this was what Nick Simmonds - Membership Manager said,

"Regarding our Ambassadors we do not require them to agree with
everything the Angling Trust says or does. In a sport as diverse as
ours that would be wholly unrealistic. Richard Benyon was one of
the better fisheries ministers and remains a good supporter of angling.
We hope we can persuade him to support the case we have made."

I can only think they are all on ****ing drugs quite frankly! What other organisation would have someone who seems hell bent on getting them banned from major parts of the country as an Ambassador. When I questioned the logic of his reply he started going on about this being the time to "stick together" .... perhaps he should lecture Judas Benyon about that!!!!!!

Reg I have the utmost respect for you and the crap you put up with in the name of helping our sport but those at AT HQ are quite frankly a bunch of morons! They should hang their heads in shame ...
interesting, I had exactly the same response word for word to my email of complaint about Benyon. Good to see they took our complaints seriously and responded individually rather than having a generic standard letter.:confused2::frown:​

9B9A085C-AA31-4488-9A1F-3D83BFD0CCC1.png
 

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It would be extremely concerning if Benyon did not fight hard for the AT to be on the panel. However, we don't yet know if that is correct. Let's establish the facts rather than make hasty judgements.

But now the primary focus must be on what comes next and supporting the AT and its campaign on HPMA.
 

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It would be extremely concerning if Benyon did not fight hard for the AT to be on the panel. However, we don't yet know if that is correct. Let's establish the facts rather than make hasty judgements.

But now the primary focus must be on what comes next and supporting the AT and its campaign on HPMA.
Benyon has become a matter of trust, how can he remain an ambassador after the report was finalised, if he truly was in anglings corner he would have resigned the moment that angling was exempted from the process! If AT retain him then to me it call into doubt there whole decision making.

Secondly, Hookpoint - @Grant Jones et al - are ahead of the AT on the whole letter writing thing, as soon as this issue broke they were on the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Benyon has become a matter of trust, how can he remain an ambassador after the report was finalised, if he truly was in anglings corner he would have resigned the moment that angling was exempted from the process! If AT retain him then to me it call into doubt there whole decision making.

Secondly, Hookpoint - @Grant Jones et al - are ahead of the AT on the whole letter writing thing, as soon as this issue broke they were on the case.
Flipper it's not a them v us competition, well done Grant Jones I hope everyone does the same.
 

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Flipper it's not a them v us competition, well done Grant Jones I hope everyone does the same.
I didn't say it was a competition, merely that the AT are behind in responding and aren't the only show in town. I do hope that Jamie Cook and the board reconsiders its position on Benyon, otherwise they will lose what respect and trust they have built up over the last 12-18 months with sea anglers.
 

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interesting, I had exactly the same response word for word to my email of complaint about Benyon. Good to see they took our complaints seriously and responded individually rather than having a generic standard letter.:confused2::frown:​
View attachment 1283285
I don't think it was just us either.

It would be extremely concerning if Benyon did not fight hard for the AT to be on the panel. However, we don't yet know if that is correct. Let's establish the facts rather than make hasty judgements.
They had the opportunity to put the "facts" in their response to me and the other members that have questioned Mr Benyon's position. They just spout generic claptrap back at us rather than actual facts.

Given the contents of the review if he was fighting our corner he did a bloody awful job of it!!!
 

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They had the opportunity to put the "facts" in their response to me and the other members that have questioned Mr Benyon's position. They just spout generic claptrap back at us rather than actual facts.
As I understand it, the facts are not yet known. Which I expect is why the point was ducked in the reply you received. I suggest we wait and see on this. It may well be that Benyon can be very helpful to us in future.

Given the contents of the review if he was fighting our corner he did a bloody awful job of it!!!
Inclined to agree, but I would like to know more about what happened.

But regardless, I would repeat: now the primary focus must be on what comes next and supporting the AT and its campaign on HPMA.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As I understand it, the facts are not yet known. Which I expect is why the point was ducked in the reply you received. I suggest we wait and see on this. It may well be that Benyon can be very helpful to us in future.

Inclined to agree, but I would like to know more about what happened.

I can confirm you are right that the facts are not yet fully known, after reading blackdog's post I emailed the AT to find out what happened and they said.........

We are working hard to get the offending parts of the Benyon Review rejected by ministers. That is the most important priority at this time and we are making progress. We need sea anglers to stick together and get behind our endeavours as they did over our recent success with charter boats.

I am sure they will review everything else once they have secured a place at the table.
 

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they said.........

We are working hard to get the offending parts of the Benyon Review rejected by ministers. That is the most important priority at this time and we are making progress. We need sea anglers to stick together and get behind our endeavours as they did over our recent success with charter boats.
That is pretty much word for word a paragraph out of their response to me ...

Which I expect is why the point was ducked in the reply you received. I suggest we wait and see on this. It may well be that Benyon can be very helpful to us in future.
They didn't need to duck .. they needed to be honest and the fact that they cannot simply be straight with their members is a big part of the issue here. I would suggest that if they don't know what the hell is going on with Richard Benyon then it should ring alarm bells! Thats not really the actions of someone fighting your corner is it?

As far as him being useful in the future .... there comes a point when you have to make a bit of a stand and have a few principles. Not only has angling been shafted here but they (the AT) are just letting one of the guys that did it sit at their own high table, while they publicly tell us all what a great bloke he is. It may well be that he tried and took a beating but if he did he should have resigned in protest ... not just signed up to it like it was all hunky dory.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Back to the topic of the thread as I don't want a topic on Mr Benyon getting on the way of anglers writing to their MP's.


Today the Angling Trust launches our campaign in response to the June 2020 Benyon Review on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).

We asking anglers to write to their MP in support of our campaign, and to send the clear message, that as anglers it is vital we are central to any future consideration on which sites will become HPMAs.

While welcoming the establishment of HPMAs as one of a number of effective ways we can protect and manage our seas and fish stocks, we strongly object to the Panel’s recommendation for recreational angling to be banned within all HPMAs automatically.

Marine conservation and recreational fishing share the same goals and the Review Panel’s recommendation to exclude the angling community from the process has created unnecessary conflict; even before the government have selected the five pilot sites they will take forward.

Sea angling generates considerable economic value to the UK economy, yet we feel it is frequently ignored or marginalised as a stakeholder regarding the management of our seas. For example, there was no representation of the recreational sea angling sector on the Panel.

The Angling Trust calls upon Ministers to accept the case for the introduction of HPMAs as proposed by the Benyon Review, but to reject the aspects of the report which equate the impacts of modern recreational sea angling to those of damaging industrial activities including trawling, dredging and drilling.

Through our response we set out evidence for recreational fishing that takes place both in and round marine protected areas in other locations around the world. In all of these cases, engagement with and the involvement of the recreational angling community has improved conservation outcomes.

Our response has been sent to all Members of Parliament with a coastal constituency this week and has been sent to all Defra Ministers, the Chair of the EFRA Select Committee and the Shadow Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
 

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I don’t have a lot of time for the AT because of some of the decisions they’ve made affecting sea anglers in the past, their apparent preference towards fresh water sport and their self congratulatory self serving attitude. However, in times like these we need to pull together and despite their faults, support the AT as they seem to be the only communal voice we have.

Reg, please don’t think that the above was aimed at you. You make a good ambassador for the AT and I appreciate the efforts you put in consequently I’ll join the AT at least for this year to add to the voice.

As suggested I’ve written to both of my local MPs. Anyone else wanting to can look up their MP’s contact details here https://members.parliament.uk/constituencies/
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don’t have a lot of time for the AT because of some of the decisions they’ve made affecting sea anglers in the past, their apparent preference towards fresh water sport and their self congratulatory self serving attitude. However, in times like these we need to pull together and despite their faults, support the AT as they seem to be the only communal voice we have.

Reg, please don’t think that the above was aimed at you. You make a good ambassador for the AT and I appreciate the efforts you put in consequently I’ll join the AT at least for this year to add to the voice.

As suggested I’ve written to both of my local MPs. Anyone else wanting to can look up their MP’s contact details here https://members.parliament.uk/constituencies/
Thank you Baddox
 

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Wrote to mine a few weeks ago and got a response the other day

The broad response showed support for the recommendations within the review but did appear to acknowledge and agree that anglers should be consulted to reflect on how marine conservation can be achieved whilst allowing angling to continue at no cost to nature.
It was also referred to Georg Eustice For response.

Much as it seems ludicrous that Benyon can remain an ambassador following these recommendations given it’s a pretty clear conflict of interest - I agree the immediate issue is protecting our rights as sea anglers.

Whether you support the AT or not - write to your MP, voice your personal opposition.
Ultimately If you do nothing - you can hardly grumble when angling starts getting banned across the country.
 

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Wrote to mine a few weeks ago and got a response the other day

The broad response showed support for the recommendations within the review but did appear to acknowledge and agree that anglers should be consulted to reflect on how marine conservation can be achieved whilst allowing angling to continue at no cost to nature.
It was also referred to Georg Eustice For response.

Much as it seems ludicrous that Benyon can remain an ambassador following these recommendations given it’s a pretty clear conflict of interest - I agree the immediate issue is protecting our rights as sea anglers.

Whether you support the AT or not - write to your MP, voice your personal opposition.
Ultimately If you do nothing - you can hardly grumble when angling starts getting banned across the country.
Emailed my MP before Covid 19 and got an out of office reply, still waiting so no point in emailing him again as obviously he's not remotely interested in anything to do with anglers and angling. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Emailed my MP before Covid 19 and got an out of office reply, still waiting so no point in emailing him again as obviously he's not remotely interested in anything to do with anglers and angling. :(
If you wont do it for yourself then do it for every other sea angler in the UK and keep doing it until they respond.

My MP will be defending sea anglers, AGAIN.
 

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I have posted this in the other thread on Benyon but thought it should be here as well - you sometimes do get a response. Contact details have been removed.
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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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