Well we held our first face to face meeting on the 5th Oct and Duncan presented our plans for the next 3 years, I won’t go into specifics now which will need further development and scope, But, with Duncan taking a break from his business ventures and will be taken a full time role with BASG this provides the ambition and push to explore new ideas. More info and the presentation are available from here.
We continue to work on the Hoveton saga, lobbying on the fact that the scheme is still subject to planning conditions. It will be interesting to see how the EA can retract from its 2014 policy statement written into the projects Environment Statement of some 92 pages, which only has 5 lines related to fish. I quote paragraph 8.5.24:
While fish are considered to be of low ecological value (there are no protected or designated species present), recreational angling is of significant economic importance within the middle Bure. The impacts on fish are being assessed as part of on-going work to inform the project. If these impacts are assessed by Environment Agency fisheries specialists as being significant, biomanipulation will not proceed
We also continue to put our efforts into the governance, monitoring and measures of the impact these barriers will have on the wider catchment fish stocks. Then ensure a legal process exists to remove them, if harm is proven, if the planning condition above fails to protect the fish.
Both of these issues along with the underlying WFD determination process, are now subject to the early stages of legal enquiry by Fish Legal.
We have some continuing discussions with the Broads Society on how our two respective groups can build on each other’s strengths going forward. Look out from my next feature in the Christmas Hansar magazine.
As I write this, the Broads is recovering from its first significant tidal surge of the season, with some reports of dead fish on the Bure upstream of Acle. With the focus on COP26 this week, it’s a good time to reflect on what lies ahead for the Broads, not just for the fishery, but the whole way we utilise this unique environment.
I end on a positive note that we have reached agreement on funding for a new 2022 Broads Angle magazine publication. This was last produced back in 2013, with funding from the EA. For 2022 the Broads Authority have agreed to fund this as part of an education package.
That’s all for now.