As promised last year Labour has produced a new Charter for Angling in consultation with the national representative organisations for the sport and government ministers. The Charter was written and co-ordinated by angling MP Martin Salter who is Labour’s Parliamentary Spokesman for Angling and Shooting.

The document builds on Labour’s 1996 Angler’s Charter and is the result of months of hard work and discussions with government ministers from Defra and DCMS. The Charter carries a foreword and personal endorsement from Nature Conservation and Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw. It has been widely welcomed by angling organisations who have described the Charter as:

“the most comprehensive statement on angling ever produced by a political party.”

Ben Bradshaw MP, Minister for Nature Conservation and Fisheries said:-

“As the government minister responsible for fisheries I would like to offer my thanks and congratulations to everyone who has helped produce this marvellous document. It is a tribute to the close working relationship between Labour politicians and the world of angling.”

Martin Salter MP said:

“I am extremely proud of our new Charter for Angling which, as a keen fisherman myself, has become something of a ‘labour of love’ for me personally. This document is a serious and intelligent study of all the major issues affecting angling and fisheries in Britain. It provides a guide to how a future Labour government will continue to work with anglers and fishery owners to promote and develop angling and to improve the aquatic environment.’

He added:

“With the production of two Angling Charters, the holding of four National Angling Summits, action on cormorants, bass pairs trawling, water quality, legislation and the environment, Labour has demonstrated by word and deed that we are the most pro-angling party in Britain.”

The Charter covers the following areas: The Benefits of Angling, Angling and the Law, Rod Licences, Regulation and the Close Season, Angling Governance, Competitive Angling, Participation Strategies, Marine Resources and Fisheries, Water, Diffuse Pollution, Water Conservation, Migratory Fish, Exploitation and Drift Netting, Catch and Release inside Catchment Management, Fish Conservation Strategies, Aquaculture, Ofwat, Water Supply and Sewage Treatment, Waterside Access, British Waterways, Canoeing, Planning Guidance, the Removal of Fish, Bass Management Plan and Predation.

Paul Knight, Director of the Salmon and Trout Association said:-

“Whilst the S&TA is a strictly non-political organisation we cannot help but praise Labour’s new Charter for Angling. This really is a thorough, comprehensive and serious analysis of the major issues facing angling today.”

Richard Ferre, Chairman NFSA Conservation Group said:-

“The NFSA is pleased to see, in the Labour Party’s recently distributed Charter for Angling, clear recognition of the high participation levels and commercial significance of the Recreational Sea Angling (RSA) sector in the UK.

The document recognises that to date sea fishery management has focussed on commercial fishing but now needs to take a wider stakeholder view of our marine resources, seeking in the process to achieve maximum benefit without damaging the environment, even to the point of considering some species primarily RSA resources.

In particular the recognition of the strong case made by the Bass Management Plan with its clear recommendations for action signifies that the party has been listening to the voice of RSA. The ultimate test will be if returned to power, will these recommendations be implemented by Labour. The whole of RSA hope so.”

Terry Mansbridge, Chairman of the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives said:-

“This is an excellent document that will be welcomed by anglers of all disciplines everywhere.”

Download a copy of Labour’s Charter for Angling.

[NB. If you do not have a copy of Acrobat reader on your computer, a free download is available from Adobe website.]