Welsh river cri­sis mis­han­dled, says trust

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - News & Views -

“UN­PRECE­DENTED lows” in the num­bers of salmon and sea trout re­turn­ing to rivers

threat­ens the fu­ture of many Welsh fish­eries, ac­cord­ing to Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales. The en­vi­ron­ment and nat­u­ral re­sources body has ini­ti­ated a con­sul­ta­tion on fur­ther mea­sures to pro­tect fish, hav­ing pre­vi­ously urged vol­un­tary re­lease by an­glers and nets­men. Their ap­proach has been con­demned by an­glers’ or­gan­i­sa­tion the An­gling Trust, how­ever, for at­tempt­ing to reg­u­late an­glers while ig­nor­ing fac­tors such as pol­lu­tion and in­va­sive preda­tors. “The pro­pos­als im­pose yet more reg­u­la­tions on an­glers but of­fer noth­ing that will make any im­me­di­ate dif­fer­ence to the main prob­lems… which are pol­lu­tion, pre­da­tion, ab­strac­tion, bar­ri­ers to mi­gra­tion and poor marine sur­vival,” said Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Lloyd. “Welsh gov­ern­ment and its reg­u­la­tor have sin­gu­larly failed to re­spond to the con­cerns of an­glers on these ma­jor strate­gic is­sues for decades…these con­sul­ta­tions in­di­cate that the gov­ern­ment doesn’t care about an­gling in Wales and the hun­dreds of mil­lions of pounds of rev­enue it gen­er­ates...” The pro­pos­als for con­sid­er­a­tion in­clude im­ple­ment­ing full catch and re­lease fish­ing on all net and rod fish­eries for salmon, re­quir­ing sea trout catch and re­lease in rod fish­eries on vul­ner­a­ble rivers be­fore May 1, set­ting a 60cm max­i­mum size limit for sea trout in rod fish­eries and Im­ple­ment­ing method re­stric­tions (bait, bar­b­less hooks and tre­bles) so that re­leased fish have a good chance of sur­vival. The con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod runs un­til Novem­ber 14, and any com­ments on the an­gling pro­pos­als should be made to Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales. Email Fish­eries.Wales@cy­foeth­na­tu­ri­ol­cymru. gov.uk

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