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I often feel that the anglers of the north east don't get to know enough about what is happening with regard to development of fishing policy. Although decisions are often made on our behalves a long way away down in London these decisions do effect us guys around here in the north east. For this reason I have posted this specifically in the forum for my immediate area. This forum has a lot of members and a lot more viewers so its a good place to get the message out to the guys from this area who I know are very passionate about their sport. Although I don't want such posts as this to descend into the petty bickering that brought about the closure of the conservation forum I think it important that at least anglers of this area are kept informed of what is happening.

No need to debate what's wrong or right for the future, its just an opportunity to put your thoughts on paper and present them to the government.


I've pinched this post of Anglers Net - with the authors permission. The questions he is asking people to reply to are in Red. The text underneath is his answers. If you have the time please fill in your own views and send them off to DEFRA at the email address shown.

Dear All,

Set out below are questions being asked by Defra as part of their consultation for Sea Fishing's Future policy:

I have attached my answers to them and sent them to Defra, please attach your own answers and do the same by 26th April. You don't get much opportunity to influence policy, but this is a chance even if it is ignored. You do not need to be a member of the SACN to reply.

PLEASE BE CIVIL AND POLITE WITH YOUR ANSWERS, HOWEVER IRRITATING SOME OF THE QUESTIONS MAYBE.

Send your replies to the questions to:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/co...2027/index.htm

I have received the following questions you have raised from Leon Roskilly of the SACN. I am also a member of the SACN. I have been an RSA for the last 25 years and the drop in quality and quantity of catches in that time has been in the order of 90%. I hope that there might be a remote possibility that DEFRA might this time react with something more than platitudes and inaction.

• What is an acceptable level of environmental
impact for different parts of the supply chain
e.g. different types of fishing gear;


Minimum mesh sizes must be made much larger than at present.

discards;

Discards can never be acceptable and are a result of the idiotic quota system. If they were banned entirely and used as quota, then all fish stocks would benefit. As once quotas include what is now discarded, all of which die anyway, are caught, the true situation can be ascertained.

aquaculture;

Only to be allowed whereby sea-water used is treated and re-used, this provides an incredibly rich source of fertiliser and stops environmental and genetic pollution. Feed-stocks could also be grown this way thus preventing the collapse of the food chain caused by industrial fishing. There are already purpose built inland seawater farms doing this.

transport of fish from overseas?

From a disease risk and the obvious environmental impacts, as much as possible should be done to reduce this.

• How much access to fisheries should be
available to coastal communities through
Government intervention rather than leaving
the market to operate (with the likely result of
the most economically efficient operators
gaining all of the resource)?


A great deal more than happens currently.

• How much access to fisheries should be
available for recreational angling?


All of it of course, except where it is shown that RSA would have major impact on stocks. Unlikely they ever would do so to my mind, but I stand to be corrected.

• What information do consumers need to be
able to make sustainable choices?


A traffic light system. Green for sustainable, red for all at risk species.

• Does it matter how much of the fish we eat is
from aquaculture?


Not if is done as set out above.

• Is this a vision that you would endorse? Why? Why not?

If all of the above were granted, yes.

• Is the balance right between economic, social and environmental aspects? If not,
how would you like it changed?


As set out above

• What, if anything, is missing?

Set aside NTZ’s for commercials, no netting inside 1 mile from the coast.

• Have we got the roles and responsibilities right?

Nice to see some effort being made, but too little too late I fear.

• Have we identified the costs and benefits correctly?

Don’t know what they are. Have almost certainly failed to recognise the benefits of RSA. In Scotland the C & R policy (voluntary), re-stocking by riparian owners etc, buying out the estuary nets, banning drift nets in Ireland, has had huge impacts on the Scottish rural economy as the salmon fishing has improved. The same has to apply to RSA, common senses shows it will.

• For the comprehensive package we need for marine fisheries, which bits do you
agree with or disagree with? Why?


I would agree if all of the above suggestions were adopted and rigorously enforced.
 
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