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April 2020

From around 2012 Alan Deeming, current secretary of Bembridge Angling Club, joined with the late Tony Williams, former president of Vectis Boating & Fishing Club, to represent the interests of local Recreational Sea Anglers (RSA) through their involvement in the Isle of Wight committee of the Angling Trust and the Angling Trust's national Conservation & Access Group.

Prior to his sad death in 2016, Tony had been involved in angling related bodies, at local, national & international (European Anglers Alliance) level, for many years, stretching back into the earlier days of the NFSA. Tony was awarded honorary life membership of the EAA in recognition of his services to recreational angling.

Alan became involved again at local and national level having been initially reintroduced to the IW AT committee by Tony as a result of their mutual involvement with the initial Marine Conservation Zone proposal exercise. Tony then nominated Alan to join the AT's national Conservation & Access Group of which he is now a fully co-opted member and gets involved in sea angling matters of national significance in addition to local issues. Alan is also a member of the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authorities’ Recreational Angling Sector Group which acts as a forum for dialogue between anglers and SIFCA which is the body responsible for management of marine fishing activity in the coastal waters of Hampshire & Dorset.

As a volunteer, he receives no payment for his work other than the reimbursement of the occasional ferry fare to allow him to attend meetings on the mainland.

Alan would be delighted if some younger enthusiastic anglers would get involved in trying to promote the interests of local RSAs but, for lack of any such volunteers, he is happy to carry on as far as he is able.

A lot of his work is carried out in the background and this may not be apparent to all until made public by way of newsletters etc.

Alan sees the near future being beset with attempts to regulate our activities and it will only be with good support from rank & file anglers that any unreasonable attempts can even begin to be contested.

We have the situation that many commercial fisheries are, according to national & international bodies, being exploited beyond their sustainable level. Bass being the most recent under the spotlight. The conservation measures introduced so far have seriously impacted on RSAs whilst still allowing the commercial fleet to catch immature specimens that have not had a chance to breed at least once. This is totally unfair on anglers. If, however, anglers continue to be unwilling to give voice to their support for the Angling Trust's campaigns on this subject when requested to write to their MP & MEP, then they can hardly be surprised if the outcome is not favourable to anglers.

For anglers to sit back, do nothing, and assume someone else will protect their interests is an unrealistic expectation.

For more on the Bass situation click on    Save Our Seabass        


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