Dear Fellow Angler,
We have been working closely with the NWATFCC (North West Angling Trust Fisheries Consultative Committee) in order to challenge NRW’s Stock Assessment and Reporting and resulting river classifications. Senior NRW Fisheries Staff seem unable to explain with clarity a number of key areas but will use the defence that they are using the same methodology as the rest of the UK.
To that end it is vital that any challenge is done on a joint basis with NWATFCC who are challenging the Environment Agency in England over precisely the same issue. A meeting took place in Lancaster on Wednesday 7th March between NWATFCC, the Angling Trust and the EA, at which Senior EA Fisheries Officers were unable to validate their data. As a result a suitably qualified statistician has now been employed by NWATFCC in order to:
·· provide an independent evaluation of the validity and efficiency of the England & Wales national river stock status classification model for salmon
· review alternate models that can provide accurate historic stock attainment trend performance
The timescale for completion is three to four weeks. Whilst there can be no cast iron guarantees of success, this is fully supported by Mark Lloyd of the Angling Trust and we strongly believe that this has to be done, since if the EA/NRW model is declared invalid by an independent source, the whole case for the introduction of the Proposed Byelaws is undermined. We have also written to the Cabinet Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, to inform her of this action.
It would be unfair for our colleagues in England to bear the full cost of employing a qualified statistician, when we would stand to benefit from any findings which would support our challenge. A contingency fund of £5,000 is being raised, of which a Welsh fisheries contribution of £1,500 is suggested. To that end we are asking for contributions to establish that fund, which Mark Lloyd has kindly agreed to hold through the Angling Trust, ring-fenced for this specific brief. As a guide we are suggesting a contribution of £100 from Angling Clubs and £10 from individuals, although larger or smaller amounts would be gratefully accepted!
1. Cheques should be made payable to the Angling Trust
2. Please write either “Your Name” (individuals) or “Name of Club” along with “Wales Salmon Data Validation Fund” on the back of the cheque.
3. Cheques should be posted to:
We appreciate that this is very short notice for clubs in particular. However these are extraordinary times for game angling in Wales and that requires an extraordinary response.
Whilst the immediate aim of this money is to fund the independent statistician, after all payments have been met, we have requested that any residual funds be used by the Angling Trust/ Fish Legal to support campaigns which are beneficial to angling in Wales.
Please support this cause as well as forwarding this email to your colleagues and contacts.
Strategy Officer: Campaign for the protection of Welsh fisheries
Gwynedd Local Fisheries Advisory Group Representative, Afon Ogwen Fisheremen