TYNESIDE ANGLERS SYNDICATE MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED TO FILL IN THIS VERY IMPORTANT CONSULTATION WHICH WILL AFFECT OUR FISHING FOR MANY YEARS.
This information has been put together by conscientious anglers who care deeply about our sport. We have published it help you fill in this consultation. Read it carefully and then complete your consultation document
TO ACCESS THIS LOG ON TO http://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/fisheries/managing-salmon-net-and-rod-fisheries/
Salmon and sea trout anglers who bought their licences on line will have received information concerning the above. Those who bought their licences from Post Offices etc have not been informed. To access the consultation process to give your responses log on to http://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/fisheries/managing-net-and-rod-fisheries/
It is presented in 7 sections and each section has a number of questions . This process is lengthy and will take several hours to complete. Answering questions giving detailed reasons will also take several hours. While this process is ridiculous we as salmon anglers must make our thoughts known.
Here are some suggestions: Section 2
Q2.2a recommendation is Wholly
Salmon stocks are in decline and remedial action needs to be taken very quickly to encourage these to recover. However as data in appendix 2 show rod angling is not the issue as anglers already safely return 79% of salmon caught. Substantially more significant are issues such as; exploitation by offshore nets, the widespread and endemic problems of agricultural pollution, habitat damage, over abstraction and low water flows, fish farming and unsustainable predation.
Section 3 Q.32A-
We wholly agree that salmon need additional protection from nets/ fixed engines. Rod exploitation is not the cause of the decline of Atlantic salmon. As salmon anglers safely release 80% (7090) of all salmon caught (8930) Exploitation by rods is insignificant compared with other factors particularly exploitation by nets, fixed engines, predation, agricultural pollution, excessive abstraction, fish farming, illegal fishing. low river flows, and habitat damage. Fixed engines nets killed just under 40,ooo salmon in the NE and Yorkshire net fishery in the two years 2015 and 2016 most caught in District I and 2 in the NE. In 2106 the declared net catch in England was 20,017 fish. The fish killed by anglers was only 9% of this total. The net fishery has no limit on the amount of fish they kill though each fish needs to be tagged. There is no limit to the number of tags available.
Predation by cormorants, goosander and other predators is a very significant factor. Cormorants eat at least 1lb of fish each day some eat more. This is typically 8 to 10 smolts each day. Many rivers have large numbers of these birds taking many young fish. Lets say 50 birds on a river taking 500 salmon and sea-trout smolts each day.
Spring byelaws we recommend wholly that spring stocks should be protected as much as possible. Most anglers do not fish for spring salmon as spring runs of salmon are so poor in the North East. are so poor.
Q5.4a We recommend option 1. Nets must end to improve salmon stocks in all British and European rivers.
removing indiscriminate exploitation by nets would help salmon stocks recover. If the recreational income from salmon angling declines this will mean significant loss in revenue to the government, Environment Agency, the tackle trade, riparian owners and tourism. This will be a very large economic downturn compared with revenue generated by net fisheries.
We recommend 10 years.
Q.5.4d We recommend NE1. Mixed stock netting should be brought to an end because it is indiscriminate and leads to calls by fishermen in Greenland and the Faroes to increase their catches from the feeding grounds of the Arctic.
We recognise that netting in the NE impacts on many rivers in Yorkshire, North East and in Scotland it has a significant impact on the number of salmon running up Tees, Tyne, Wear, Coquet and Tweed. In 2015, 60,000 sea-trout and 15,000 salmon were killed by NE nets; this is greater than all the salmon and sea-trout that run the Tees, Wear, Tyne and Coquet combined.
Currently many North East angling clubs, associations are losing up to 50% of their memberships as a result of poor fish stocks in NE rivers. Some face closure and many have been in existence for over 100 years. Their closure will have significant social impact on the local communities.
Q6.2a Preferred option for catch and release.
Recommend Option 4. We believe that the voluntary catch and release targets set out in Option 4 are achievable. Anglers have already reacted quickly and responsibly to reducing salmon and sea trout stocks over recent years such that we now release 80% of fish caught. The release of more fish will help to improve fish stocks but importantly sets out a voluntary code that fishermen can buy into. This could see more fish willingly returned.
A voluntary scheme is something everyone takes part in and feels part of.
Q 6.2C We recommend yes.
Q6.2 d Yes
Q 6.2e A voluntary scheme is something everyone takes part in and feels part of. Anglers have already reacted quickly and responsibly to reducing salmon and sea trout stocks over recent years such that they now release 80% of fish caught. If 100% catch and release is imposed then significant number of anglers would stop fishing for salmon and sea trout. This will have major impact on EA licence revenue, club membership and existence, the angling trade, riparian owners income and fishing tourism.
Q6. 2 f
Recommend No I would not support voluntary catch and release of all salmon caught.
Clubs would be losing membership from subscriptions and day tickets etc. For every £1000 of leases lost is £200 lost in VAT.
q 6.3 b Many of the best practice recommendations are extremely difficult, if not impossible , for angling clubs and EA and Angling Trust to police and are best implemented by a voluntary approach and left to the conscience of individual anglers. Anglers returning fish are very keen that they survive when released and will respond positively to a voluntary approach. Anglers return 80% already contrasted to 100% kill by net fishermen.
Q 6.4 C NO
Having a landing net helps to safely restrain the fish before release.
6.4 b Yes
6.4 c No Many of the punitive measures proposed in Section 6 will have negligible impact on the survival rate of salmon released by anglers compared to the 100% kill by salmon netsmen and the very large number of smolts lost through predation. Imposing these measures would result in anglers leaving the sport with financial consequences to angling clubs, tackle trade and licence revenue.
6.4 d No these should not be banned. Voluntary and left to individual angler.
Q 6.4 e No
Voluntary and left to the angler.
6 .4 f No restrictions should not apply to Flying C’s
Flying C’s have an important role to paly in lure fishing particularly in high water. Members have very little experience of deep hooking salmon and consequently we see very little benefit to the banning or restricting the use of Flying C’s.
Q 6. 4 g
Rod Exploitation is not the cause of the decline of Atlantic Salmon. Anglers release 80% and exploitation from rods is insignificant compared with other factors particularly exploitation by nets/fixed engines, predation, agricultural pollution, excessive abstraction, fish farming, illegal fishing, low rover flows, habitat change and hydros.
Fixed engines /nets killed just under 40,000 salmon in the NE and Yorkshire in the two years 2015 and 2016 most from District 1 and 2 in the NE. 2016 saw 20071 fish were caught by nets. The fish killed by anglers amounted to 9% of this catch!
The net fishery have no limit on the amount of fish they kill even though each fish needs to be tagged. There is no restriction on the number of tags available.
Anglers are being instructed how to handle salmon gently to ensure their survival when released. The same gentle handling of salmon will be required by NE nets if they are to be returned to ensure their survival. We do not believe this is possible in an industrial fishing environment.
We object in the strongest possible terms to the proposal by the EA in section 5.2.2 whereby the netting of sea-trout may continue and salmon be removed from the T nets and returned to the sea. Has the EA conducted any research into the mortality rate that this proposal would entail. In side the final chamber from which salmon are to be safely removed consists of salmon and sea-trout frantically thrashing around. It is our experience and opinion of retired T Netsmen that this process cannot be safely operated to ensure the safe return of salmon to the sea. It is likely that released fish will then swim into another T net. This is because of the number of nets in district 1.This process would be repeated again and again.
SECTION 8 FEEDBACK
It is a comprehensive document but takes far too long to read, comprehend and answer the questions. It takes many hours to complete.
We are concerned that many anglers will not take or have the time to complete this because of its complexity.
Only anglers who renewed their EA licence on-line have been informed of this consultation. There are substantial number of anglers who buy and renew their EA licence at the Post Office and have not been informed directly of this consultation.
Other points to consider include
Anglers already release 80% of salmon caught on rod and line.
If 100% catch and release was imposed a significant number of anglers will stop fishing for salmon and sea trout. There will be a major impact and angling clubs, associations, Syndicates, Angling trade, riparian owners and fishing tourism.
Sea trout appear to be being sacrificed to preserve salmon stocks.
Anglers are being instructed to preserve salmon stocks.
Anglers are being instructed how to handle salmon and sea trout so as to ensure their survival when released. The same gentle handling will be expected by the nets if they are to be returned to ensure their survival. We do not believe this is remotely possible in an industrial environment.
The Angling Trust suggest the following points could also be included please use your won words if possible.
Mixed stock netting should be brought to an end because it is indiscriminate and leads to calls by fishermen in Greenland and the Faroes to increase their catches from the feeding grounds in the Arctic.
Anglers already release 80% of salmon caught. We have been regulated enough- we want to see tough action to regulate polluters and abstractors that damage the aquatic environment.
Angling has far more social and economic benefit for many people than netting, which only benefits a handful of people.
Many anglers also voluntarily donate funds and their own time to support Rivers Trusts and others who use this money to generate substantial additional external funding to restore rivers. Netsmen make no such contributions.
Salmon stocks are in decline in England and Wales. Anglers need to see action to address the widespread and endemic problems of agricultural pollution, habitat damage, over-abstraction, fish farming and unsustainable predation alongside action to manage exploitation by nets and rods.