Well so much for the media, an article by Rachel Salvidge from the ENDS team on the future of the Natural England HGB project. See Article
Last week we finally got to see the actual outcome from the EA management on the issue in a 322 page report. This now goes through another “minded to” consultation, which many believe is really worthless as their minds are made up. This is more about box ticking the legal permitting processes, given their failure last year.
It’s bizarre that the entire EA fisheries community, who are believed to the UK statutory authority on fisheries policy can be overruled by a seemingly faceless group of so called experts. We have overwhelming reviewed science that seems to be able to be ignored in favour of some belief that the fish will just find a way to survive, without any technical supporting Broads science.
I have stated many times that if this were feathered or fury creatures, then the whole thing would be stopped in its tracks. But it seems fish don’t matter.
So where do we go from here.
We are currently in discussion with Fish Legal, AT and the IFM assessing how to respond to the “minded to” process, which runs until the 13th Sep 2021.
What remains clear is that the barriers are subject to the policies within the 2014 environment statement vol 1, so currently can’t have planning permission, confirmed by Cally Smith 19th May 2021. This can only be overcome with a new environment statement, in which EA Fisheries supports the process.
If we do stick with the EA proposals, who is to ensure condition 9 of the permit would be enforced. Natural England and their paid consultants. I fair the worst, unless we can make the Agency see sense and place some clear additional legal protection for the fish and all the ecology that surrounds them.
Many of these initiatives are secured by the engagement of both the Angling Trust and Fish Legal. But there is so much more that could be done, if we had the resources and finances to deliver this.
With all of this and both visitors and competition anglers having some great catches and enjoyment in the Broads fishing, something has to give.
That’s all for now.