Protecting and enhancing the fish stocks and fisheries of Wales is a huge task and to do so requires the sharing of skills and knowledge from a variety of groups and organisations.
The Wales Fisheries Forum, which held its inaugural meeting last month is a new body which hopes to do just that.
Peter Gough, Principal Fisheries Officer, for Natural Resources Wales explained:
“We want to see thriving fish stocks and fisheries in Wales which are protected, supported and enhanced by the natural environment on which they depend.
“The Wales Fisheries Forum will be made up of a wide range of stakeholders who are coming together to share ideas and act as ambassadors for Welsh fisheries.
“The goal is to ensure our freshwater and migratory fish stocks are protected for generations to come.”
The forum will made up of representatives from NRW and a variety of groups and organisations.
Members have a role to play in how fish and fisheries are managed in Wales and are united in their desire to see Welsh fishing managed in a sustainable way which benefits the people, environment and economy of Wales.
Initially the forum will consist of the following organisations, but future membership will be reviewed, the members are:
- Afonydd Cymru
- Angling Cymru
- Angling Trust
- Atlantic Salmon Trust
- Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries
- Countryside Alliance Wales
- Institute of Fisheries Management – Welsh Branch
- Salmon and Trout Conservation Cymru
- Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association
- Wild Trout Trust
In addition, other groups which may attend the forum’s meeting include Welsh Government, netsmen, wildlife organisations and individual rivers groups as well as DEFRA and the Environment Agency who will contribute to cross-border discussions.
“We want this new group to represent everyone who cares about fish, not just rod and net licence holders; angling clubs; fishery and riparian owners, but also conservation organisations; rivers trusts; volunteers and other fish and fisheries-related businesses and professionals.
“There is no one silver bullet to solve the many issues and challenges facing fisheries, the solutions can be found in a combination of different changes, all of which need to be supported by new ways of thinking.
“By working together, the forum will be a channel for the exchange of ideas and best practice and will help inform NRW’s fisheries work on, among other areas, strategy, promotion and partnership working.
“We will aim to meet at least twice a year at venues around Wales, the agenda, papers and minutes will be available on NRW’s website under the ‘Fisheries pages’.”
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.