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Anglers Finding Sanctuary

Mar 31,2009 SACN

Sea anglers involved in planning Marine Conservation Zones


Two key outcomes were achieved at a recent meeting between Finding Sanctuary and representatives from both national recreational angling associations and South West angling clubs, held in Exmouth on Thursday 26 March.

The meeting was organised to decide how sea anglers can make sure that their interests are well represented during Marine Conservation Zone planning in the South West. Finding Sanctuary is working with sea-users to design a network of Marine Conservation Zones to protect marine life and to help safeguard the future of marine resources in the region.


Tom Hooper, Finding Sanctuary’s Project Manager explained: “We need the help, advice and knowledge of sea anglers from the South West.  During the meeting, the decision was made that Finding Sanctuary would approach sea angling clubs in the region and ask them to provide a sample of active sea anglers for interview, representing both boat and shore fishing disciplines.  During face-to-face interviews, sea anglers will be asked detailed questions about where they fish, how they fish, when they fish there, and what species they fish for.  Similar questions are being asked of all other sea-users, from commercial fishermen to divers. It was also agreed that Finding Sanctuary would try to recruit volunteers, ensuring that more face-to-face interviews with sea anglers could be carried out. 


“With more than 250,000 sea anglers in the South West it will be a challenge for us to gather this detailed information, but as one of the key sea-user groups in the South West, it is vital that we work with them from the start to help us carefully plan a network of Marine Conservation Zones.”


Peter MacConnell, who is a member of the Angling Trust’s Conservation Group and Chairman of Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (B.A.S.S) was at the meeting. Andy Rye, Chairman of the Plymouth Federation of Sea Anglers, which represents over 30 recreational sea angling clubs in the Plymouth area, also attended, together with angling club representatives from Dorset and Devon. 


The meeting was part of Finding Sanctuary’s ongoing discussions with people who depend on the sea for their livelihood or leisure activities, and engagement with them to plan a network of Marine Conservation Zones in the South West – something that has never been done before in the UK.  


Peter MacConnell who represents sea angling interests on the Finding Sanctuary Steering Group gave this advice to sea anglers: “This is not something to be complacent about - Marine Conservation Zones are coming and sea anglers need to get involved now.  As the sea angling representative on the Steering Group I need to know where the important sea areas are for anglers, so that I can use this information to look after our interests during the planning of Marine Conservation Zones.  Anglers need to come forward and speak to Finding Sanctuary so that this information can be collected.”


The information collected through interviews will be considered in detail by the Finding Sanctuary Steering Group, who will decide where the Marine Conservation Zones will be sited around the South West coastline.  Data will be collected up until July 2010.  The Steering Group’s recommendations for Marine Conservation Zones will be submitted to Government in October 2011.  


If you would like to be invited to similar meetings in the  future, please contact Finding Sanctuary. Liaison officers are interviewing sea anglers around the coasts of Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and Somerset on an ongoing basis. To get in touch with your local liaison officer, or if you are interested in volunteering, contact Finding Sanctuary on 01392 878 328 or visit www.finding-sanctuary.org


(005)  March 2009


For more information about Finding Sanctuary visit www.finding-sanctuary.org or contact Joana Doyle on tel: 01392 878328 or email: Joana.Doyle@southwestfoodanddrink.com 


For more press information please contact Nickie Davies or Abbie Elliot-Square at Positive PR on tel: 01935 389497 or email: abbie@positivepr.co.uk     
Positive PR
The Old Fire Station
Ludbourne Road
Dorset, DT9 3NJ
Tel: 01935 389497


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