Oct 18,2006 00:00
Not so long ago, it was rare for angling organisations to be consulted on anything by government or fisheriy management authorities.
But now, after much lobbying leading to the recognition of Recreational Sea Angling as valuable stakeholders in the management of the UK's marine resources, angling organisations sometimes seem to be drowning in consultations.
To respond effectively involves a good deal of research, and internal consultation, as well as the work that goes into preparing the responses themselves.
That itself ties up resources and limits the amount of work that can be done to initiate progress on other issues important to the Recreational Sea Angling (RSA)community.
Some comfort can be taken from the fact that many other organisations, many far better resourced than RSA, are suffering similarly.
This month has been particularly busy for SACN with deadlines both for the DEFRA Tope consultation on 20th October, and the need to respond to DEFRA's request that SACN provide input to their consultation on the EU Cod Recovery Programme earlier in the month.
These followed on from other recent consultations on the Marine Bill, the Sussex SFC consultation on providing protection for elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), and a new system of penalties for fisheries offences and ............ well sometimes it just seems to go on and on.
But every one of these consultations needs input both from angling organisations and individual anglers, if our needs for access to more and bigger fish are not to be left out of the equation as has happened, sometimes with disasterous consequences for the quality of sea angling, in the past.