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Shoreham Anglers Clean Up

Sep 30,2006 SACN

Recently weekend visitors to Shoreham harbour looked on in unbelieving amazement as local anglers filled bin liners with rubbish, then set about sweeping the harbour arm with brooms.

In recent years Shoreham Harbour has gained a reputation for good fishing, but also it has gained an unfortunate reputation as a rubbish strewn eyesore, much of that generated by visiting anglers who see no point in taking home their own rubbish when 'their little bit' hardly seemed to make a difference.

Talk to most anglers, and catching fish isn't as important as the expectation that fish might be caught, so long as they can enjoy the day getting their fill of good fresh air, and being close to the beauties surrounding the natural environment of the coast.

And increasingly, many anglers are gathering their own and others' litter from the beach and piers where they fish, attempting to stem a growing public attitude towards treating the world as one big dustbin for the litter and rubbish that accompanies their lives.

But at some venues it seems hardly worth the effort, as one individual's contribution would hardly seem to make a difference.

And yet when an area is cleaned and kept clean, others are more likely to put their drink cans and sandwich wrappers into their bag to be disposed of properly at home, rather than to be embarrassed by walking away from a pile of their own litter left in an otherwise tidy place.

And keeping angling venues clean and tidy isn't just a case of creating a pleasant place for anglers to fish from either.

Increasingly, litter is the cause of many complaints resulting in more and more 'No Fishing' signs going up in previously popular fishing venues.

At Shoreham, some local anglers decided that they had had enough, and that simply moaning about the problem wasn’t going to make it go away.

So a small group of them got together and decided to do something.

And they soon realised that there were others thinking along the same lines, all it took was for someone to take the initiative to get the ball rolling.

Now they have started, and seen the interest, they are determined to carry on and to involve others who share their concerns, not only about the amount of litter at Shoreham but other issues of concern to responsible anglers such as general behaviour and the retention of undersized fish by a minority that sometimes gives all anglers a bad name.

And they have taken time off from clean-up operations to give youngsters tips on float fishing etc

Having already organised one clean-up, others are planned (perhaps fortnightly) and a new Angling Association is being formed to carry on the good work.

And as well as organising clean-ups themselves, Shoreham Anglers intend to involve others, such as local authorities, volunteers from other organisations etc, in improving the environment around Shoreham Harbour, making it not only a good place to fish from, but a pleasure to visit too.

A first General Meeting of the new Shoreham Anglers has been organised to take place at the Waterside Inn, Shoreham Beach on the 23rd October 2006.

Anyone wanting to get involved, or support the efforts in any way at all, can contact the organisers by emailing shoreham.anglers@googlemail.com.

(Membership of Shoreham Anglers is being offered free)

And if your area could do with something similar, it only takes two or three people to get the ball rolling.

And believe it or not, clean-ups can be good fun too!


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