Browsing articles from "September, 2017"

Catch and Release Consutation – Press Release from Plaid Cymru

Sep 25, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

“For immediate release – Friday 22nd September 2017

Fishing industry concerns raised with Government

Plaid Cymru shares fishing restriction fears of Carmarthenshire anglers

Carmarthenshire anglers were the focus of questions in the National Assembly this week as local AM Adam Price raised concerns against
proposals to introduce restrictions on the Towy and Teifi rivers. The proposals from Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which are currently
out for consultation, include a complete ban on bait fishing and a 100% catch and release policy in an attempt to combat dwindling levels of
salmon, sewin and sea trout – moves a number of local angling clubs and associations say will devastate the industry.

Questioning the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Plaid Cymru AM Mr Price told the Minister that the
proposals do not address all of the reasons for these dwindling stock levels, and that many anglers believe Natural Resources Wales is only
looking at the easiest target.

Responding to the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM, Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths noted that the fishing industry is worth £100million
to the Welsh economy, and agreed it was vital that the views of local fishers were taken into consideration.

Speaking after his question, Adam Price AM said:

“I have been contacted by several angling clubs raising their concerns about the negative effect that the NRW proposals – most notably the
complete ban on bait fishing and a 100% catch and release policy – will have on their clubs. Fishing isn’t just a hobby, of course. It is a
vitally important industry in my constituency, and across Wales.

“Pollution, changes in the seas and birds of prey all have an influence in the dwindling stock numbers of these fish. Local anglers therefore
see the NRW proposals as the easiest solution to a problem that has many more contributing factors.

“My question to the Cabinet Secretary was to emphasise that anglers have very real fears and want those fears heard right at the heart of
government.

“Natural Resources Wales must look comprehensively at all causes of dwindling stock levels and not just target anglers.”

Member of Parliament for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards added:

“Most if not all anglers and their societies have voluntary catch and release policies. They know the value of stock levels to the long term
sustainability of their hobby and industry.

“It is imperative that the Welsh Government doesn’t allow anglers to be the easy target by Natural Resources Wales. Simply targeting anglers
without looking at all contributing factors is a sticking plaster solution and will do little to get to the heart of the problem. I can assure local anglers and their associations that we will be keeping a very close eye on these proposals to ensure they are fair and proportionate.”

Chairman’s letter to WAG re Access and also Angling Cymru Letter to WAG, Canoeist response and Fish Legal/Angling Trust response

Sep 25, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

 

 All
I appreciate a few of you have already rec’d the attached. As you will see it is in response to the Welsh Gov who wish to pass your rights onto others with no recompense to us.
The letter was written to the best of my ability and with certain aid from other quarters such as Tony and a solicitor friend. I believe that a letter has been sent from the rivers trust, whether any of you have seen fit to write to Welsh Gov on this subject I do not know.
There is a letter from Angling Trust which I shall send to you separately for your consideration and discussion.
Be assured the will of government is to allow free and unfettered access to ALL waters whether river or still water (ponds). So if you have done nothing so be it.
As you can see this matter is NO JOKE!

Mr. W.G. Davies:       Chairman.                                                       3 Blanche Street,

E mail:W.GARY.DAVIES@sky.com                                               Dowlais,

Merthyr Tydfil.

CF48 3PE.

01685 371981.

07974806032

18/9/2017

 

Ms Lesley Griffiths AM.  AC.  Environment Secretary.

CC:-

Mr Carwyn Jones              AM. AC  First Minister

Mr Andrew R T Davies    AM.  Leader Welsh Conservatives.

Ms Leanne Wood             AM.  Leader Plaid Cymru.

Ms Kirsty Williams         AM. AC.  Leader Welsh Lib Dems.

Mr  Niel Hamilton           AM.  Leader UKIP

Ms Dawn Bowden            AM.

Ms Janet Finch Saunders AM.

 

Dear Ms  Griffiths,

 

Having read through the consultation document on ACCESS I feel the need to contact you with my particular interest in the property rights of the owners of inland water.

I have written to you in the past about this subject so I see no point of repeating myself on principles, but to address a different but related matter.

I presume you are aware that Ms Jane Davidson put in being the Splash fund which in total amounted to £2.5 million, the aim of which was to enable the paddlers and anglers to negotiate an ACCESS agreement across Wales. This started well with a trusted person as main facilitator (Andy Schofield) of Natural Resources Wales. Unfortunately  he left and the facilitator went under the auspices of Matt Strickland (also of NRW) and it seemed he was assisted by an officer of Canoe Wales.

On the face of things it would appear that the fund was administered fairly, apart from the fact that NO negotiations ever took place, At the end of the life of the fund, Matt Strickland finished with the NRW as did the Canoe Wales officer leave his post?

A short while afterwards, I requested freedom of information on the Splash Fund. The report was glowing (naturally) until the report was read and made suitable for examination. Also I obtained a document from Afonydd Cymru which outlined the method of discussion with round table participants. The result in my opinion indicates that there are some contentious issues regarding the way the fund was used.

I have read the full report and the only mention of access to rivers, access being either the provision of an access and egress point with permission , was by the Wye Usk Foundation. I cannot find any evidence of any negotiations over access (the ostensible purpose of the Fund in the first place), but I found many thousands of pounds for the purchase of BOATS, BOAT TRAILERS, ERECTION OF SLIP WAYS IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT, WEEDING A LAKE. The list goes on. (Copy available)

On this basis why are your Civil Servants still bending over backwards to insist that there is a need for more access of all kinds needed in Wales.

This leads me onto the fact that Welsh Government requested/demanded that Dwr Cymru made their reservoirs available to paddlers. That company complied with this and provided launching points on certain reservoirs (Pontsticill  was one) but with the provision that the paddlers paid a fee which could be had from Brecon Beacons National Park. I was privy to the fact that one year Dwr Cymru was paid £1500, this by adventure groups. No private group/person was recorded using the facility. The question. “Why no usage by canoes”, was put to the canoe executive at the Cardiff workshop. His response was, “People will not use the reservoirs because of the restrictions placed on them”. What a shame considering other users must follow the rules laid down (example – yacht club) by the company, and of course pay for the privilege.

At no point since 2010 has the Assembly followed through on the report that passed that it carried out certain measures to improve access. It now transpires that it is felt that the taking of property rights from ordinary people ie Fishing Rights is the way to go. At no time has there been any analysis or constructive dialogue with the owners and it appears that the taking of property rights something akin to what has happened in third world countries is now going to be a policy in Wales. Thousands of people(of all ages) did not  invest their money, time and labour;  for government to take and give away (to approx  1200 Welsh members plus some 2000 affiliated members of Canoe Wales) their rights.

Please note my Association MERTHYR TYDFIL AA (membership of approx 800 members – junior and senior) owns some 80 acres of land and 20 miles of salmon, trout and coarse fishing rights and freely gives access (after 50 years of hard work – also we upgraded approx 2 km of the Taff Trail) by revocable invitation to the public individually, so long as they individually respect our nature reserves. As for access we look for the common courtesy to be asked to use our facilities, in other words an access AGREEMENT which has been sought BY Anglers/Owners and Welsh Government since the inquiry in 2009/2010. Unfortunately one side would NOT talk.

There have been a couple of agreements (Coleg Gwent) and from information received there was a possibility for more if groups had not been coerced not to take part due to loss of insurance.

I was fortunate to attend every session and I can recall one of the committee stating to canoe Wales that they wanted everything and all for NOTHING.”

Which is entirely different when considered that anglers pay for rent/lease/purchase and maintenance of banks and footpaths?

I was also privileged to receive an embargoed copy of the 2009/10 inquiry findings.

Welsh Government is prepared to fund the paddling group despite the fact that there are in excess of 1.2 million?? (So we are told UK wide). With that number surely a modest amount would suffice to restrict the public monies given on an annual basis (£200k minimum pa to canoe Wales). I also find it strange that there are NO magazines available to paddlers ( I have trolled magazine shelves for months and not found any) whereas angling has a plethora to choose from, as do all other sporting activities,, which indicates a good profit to be made in the trade. Why not canoes? Perhaps they cannot afford the purchase price.

FINALLY

How unfair that Wales is to be turned into a “COLLECTIVE THEME PARK”, and the rights of a sizeable section of the Welsh electorate in every part of Wales trampled upon; in the name of what? Whatever it is, it’s oppressive and not worthy of a Labour administration.

Yours Faithfully

W G Davies   (Gary)

Chairman MTAA

Angling Cymru Letter to Welsh Assembly Government

 

Dear Sir.

I am concerned as Chairman of Angling Cymru about information now coming to light regarding the Splash Funding for Access to Inland Water set up by Jane Davidson when she was Environment Minister until 2011.
I sat on the Round Table discussion Group that was set up, and the setting up of the splash fund was billed as a way of getting voluntary access agreements on Inland water. At that time, and it still is, there is only a one way street in respect of access agreements in that riparian and fishery owners are struggling to find any group that respects the need for access to be shared.

My concern in looking at published figures is that other than exemplar agreements such as the Wye Usk and some on inland lakes and reservoirs the funding seems to have been spent on many questionable projects that had no bearing on the original setting up of the fund.

Tony Rees MBE

Chairman Angling Cymru

Paddlers Response

http://www.riveraccessforall.co.uk/docs/Response_to_Welsh_Gov_Proposals_Sept_2017.pdf

Angling Trust and Fish Legal Response to the Proposals

http://anglingtrust-news.net/3XSU-A43X-2PZXGV-5Z7D4-1/c.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

European Eel – Petition please sign from Wye Usk Foundation

Sep 25, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

European Eel Populations in a Parlous State
Friday 22nd September, 2017

Last week we sent out an e-news urging you to respond to a Welsh Government consultation on open access to our rivers. This week, it’s a petition to DEFRA, the UK government and the European Union for a precautionary short-term closure on the commercial export of internationally-endangered European juvenile eels taken from their home waters.

The Severn estuary has long supported a commercial fishery for elvers – juvenile eels migrating from their birthplace in the Sargasso Sea. In some years the amount taken from the estuary has been as high as 50 tonnes. Most elvers are destined for far eastern markets where they are a delicacy, with over 300 million of them exported there in the past few years from UK waters. In the same period, a further 300 million have been exported to Scandinavia, Russia and other European countries for stocking purposes. And these are just the legal catches.

European Eel populations have fallen by 95% over the last 25 years. This year’s elver fishing season ended in May with the total catch from the Wye (part of the Severn estuary fishery) amounting to just 1 kilo. In the Lugg and Arrow catchment, two eel traps caught 187 silver eels (migrating adults) in 1988. Since then there has been a steady decline with the traps catching just 2 eels between them in 2014 and nothing in 2015.

This worrying situation has led the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to place the European Eel on their red list. However, licences to catch elvers for export are still being issued by the Environment Agency.

This species has been part of our aquatic landscape for millennia and they are crucial to the ecology of our rivers. Eels are an important food source for many predatory fish, along with aquatic birds and mammals such as otters. Without them, these predators will put more pressure on other prey species and/or decline in numbers themselves.

On Tuesday next week, WUF trustee Tony Norman will be delivering the petition to No.10 Downing Street. In the meantime, we urge everyone to support him by signing it. Also, please encourage anyone you know to sign it too.

All the best from WUF.

The petition can be found here.

 

Senior Competitions 3rd and 17 September

Sep 19, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Result for 3rd September on Sophies Pond Redhill Fishery

1st Jason Woodford 154lbs 4oz

2nd Clive Jayne 110lbs

3rd Doug Hawkins 104lb 12oz

Result for 17 September on Cyfarthfa Park Lake

1st Clive Jayne 41lb 11oz

2nd Dave Couzens 17lb 12oz

3rd Jason Woodford 4lbs 10oz

Sustainable Access Campaign

Sep 7, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
Dear Sustainable Access Campaign Cymru Supporter, 

As agreed by the core SACC team I am forwarding the link to the Countryside Alliance’s e-lobby response to Welsh Government’s consultation “Taking Forward Wales” with specific reference to Chapter 4, Access.

 

 

View e-lobby

 

The letter opposes some aspects of the proposals particularly the proposal to allow open access to all inland water in Wales. Please do sign the e-lobby which is sent directly to the response team, the Minister as well as an Assembly Member. If you do not reside in Wales, there will not be the option to copy to an Assembly Member however your support still counts. 

Please pass this on to those you think will support and encourage everyone to sign. Share with friends and social media, twitter and facebook, spread the message far and wide. Individual responses to this consultation are also extremely important, please do take time if you can, to write personally to the response team. 

In the meantime, please do sign and promote the e-lobby. 

Thank you sincerely for your support, it is vital that the numbers in support are far greater than the last consultation so sign today, it is more than achievable when we all stand together. Thank you. 

On behalf of SACC 

Rachel Evans

Director for Wales, Countryside Alliance