Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities (IW 23A)


AINA leisure and recreation aim

  To optimise the use of the inland waterways as a shared, sustainable resource for a variety of leisure and recreation activities, and in particular as navigations.

Key relevant actions

    —  Provide good practice guides and codes of practice for the major recreation and leisure uses of the waterways.

    —  Promote educational information to encourage all recreational users to value and respect waterways as a natural habitat.

The angling market

    —  5.1 per cent of the population go fishing—2.3 million people

    —  2.7 per cent of the population go coarse fishing—0.7 million people

    —  Angling generally in decline adult participation falling (6.6 per cent—1987, 4.8 per cent—1999)

    —  Young people participation even less (12 per cent—1987, 6.3 per cent—1999)

    —  Cause in social trends and changing lifestyles

    —  Within angling, canal and river fishing is losing share to intensively stocked commercial fisheries where less skill is required and ancillary facilities are better.

Navigation authority plans

  Examples of navigation authority actions include.

  The Environment Agency will:

    —  develop fisheries in 150km of river each year by stocking and improving fish habitat following improvements in water quality;

    —  develop pilot fisheries development plans;

    —  publish a coarse fishing management strategy, trout management strategy;

    —  complete the publication of salmon action plans for all major rivers and implement those plans.

  British Waterways:

    —  recently reviewed on-line angling business in partnership with angling bodies;

    —  welcomes angling as another use of the network;

    —  is committed to working with anglers to reverse industry decline;

    —  has created specialist offline fisheries which are thriving;

    —  carries out special stocking of waterway lengths and sponsoring of major competition matches;

    —  angling strategy will ensure that:

      —  the decline is halted;

      —  the awareness of the benefits of angling and of anglers needs is raised;

      —  facilities are improved;

      —  conflict issues are resolved as far as possible.

Dave Fletcher

November 2000

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