Stop Press!!

Good morning everyone The Government have now formally responded to the representations made by the Angling Trust. We have promoted the huge benefits of fishing on individual health and wellbeing and have been able to present a case to which the Government have listened. On this basis I am pleased to announce that fishing will be permitted during the third national lockdown in England. The Head of Sports Participation at DCMS confirmed the following; “fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors” This has also been confirmed by DEFRA; “Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling / fishing (incl. sea fishing off private boats, water sports) can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.” We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and we as anglers have a duty to abide by the strict conditions under which fishing is once again permitted. With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the Government’s rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems. Please bear in mind these key points which will be reflected in the new Angling Trust guidelines which we will publish shortly: - This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May - We are in a National Lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply. - The government has recognised that fishing can be seen as exercise, which is expressly permitted under the lockdown rules, although outdoor recreation is not. - Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing. - The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever. - To remain within the law you should follow the government’s guidance, and only fish locally within the district where you live. If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways. We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others can not and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules. I would ask all anglers who are not members to join the Angling Trust and give us your support. We have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome and that is only possible thanks to the support of our new and existing members. I would ask all anglers who value their ability to go fishing to make the same commitment as your fellow anglers have and join the Angling Trust. We are stronger together! Membership - Angling Trust Stay safe and very best fishes Jamie Cook CEO – Angling Trust 2626 9 comments

The Association

The Ribble Fisheries Consultative Association, formerly the Ribble Fisheries Association, was founded in 1951, a year which saw the formation of the River Boards with responsibilities for flood defence, pollution control and fisheries.  A few years previously the Chief Inspector for Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries had suggested the setting up of fisheries Consultatives to represent the interests of fisheries within specified areas – usually river catchments.

In 1986 the Standing Conference of Consultatives was established under the auspices of the National Anglers’ Council (NAC), and this Association became a member.  In 1991 NAC was dissolved and two years later the Standing Conference became a self-supporting body known as the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC).  This now included Consultatives from all over the country and was for a time the most rapidly growing angling organisation.  

The demise of the over-arching Consutative framework meant that the collaboration with the E.A. was lost.  However, the formation of h Angling Trust as the national representative body for angling has in recent years re-established to some degree the national dialogue. Regrettably the former Lancashire Fisheries Consultative, which dealt mainly with coarse fishing issues and covered a large part of Cheshire, also ceased to exist.

Locally the RFCA continued and created excellent partnerships with the local E.A. and established links with the Angling Trust, the Salmon & Trout Conservation UK and the Hodder Consultative and the Calder Group; along with the Ribble Rivers Trust.  

Consultatives have no executive powers.  Rather, they work in a variety of ways to influence the “powers that be” in order to ensure that fisheries and angling are protected and developed.   Our objectives are summed up as follows:

“To safeguard and promote the interests of owners, lessees of fishing, and anglers, by developing sustainable fisheries and maximising the riverine environment through consultation with the environment Agency and other bodies with similar aims and objectives.”

As a body, we do not own any fishing, but our members are drawn from individuals, a large number of clubs, Associations, and riparian owners within the Ribble Catchment.

By working together we seek to achieve our objectives.  However, insufficient funding through “Grant in Aid” to the Environment Agency Fisheries function has made “self help” necessary.  Without it our fisheries would be very seriously under threat.  All anglers have an obligation to help in any way they can in order to ensure the long-term future of angling.