Tories Back Sea Anglers in Fish Stocks Battle

Tories Back Sea Anglers in Fish Stocks Battle
The Scotsman – Edinburgh,Scotland,UK

Tories Back Sea Anglers in Fish Stocks Battle

By Amanda Brown, PA Environment Correspondent

The Conservatives today pledged to help around one million anglers in their attempts to stop over-fishing of the UK’s fragile marine stocks.

Owen Paterson, shadow fisheries minister, was launching a party policy document at Looe in Cornwall promising to take “full account of the needs of recreational sea fishing, limiting commercial activity if necessary to ensure that those needs are met”.

The party said that if it wins the General Election it will “create a stable and equitable framework for the fishing and allied industries, including the recreational fishing sector and tourism, which would generally protect the interests of the United Kingdom”.

The National Federation of Sea Anglers said the document reflected much of its advice.

Chairman Ted Tuckerman said: “We are urging all political parties to recognise that men, women and children recreational anglers in the UK are an important and profitable sector of the fishing industry and their needs warrant equal consideration with those of the commercial sector.

“We want to work with whoever forms the next government to reverse the damage inflicted on valuable fish stocks by years of poor management decisions taken solely in the interests of commercial fishing and often to the detriment of sea anglers.”

The NFSA said that in the last year the value of sea angling to coastal economies had become widely recognised in government and parliament after vigorous lobbying.

Mr Tuckerman said: “The Government is now seriously listening to our demands to protect and rebuild fish stocks to benefit sea anglers.

“We have briefed the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative parties. Now the Labour Party is asking us for advice.”

Conservative proposals for sea angling licenses would only be supported by the NFSA if there was clear, unambiguous evidence that they would benefit sea angling and not be just a tax.

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