EA Fisheries Engagement
The comments below reflect the outcomes from discussions with the EA management team led by Simon Hawkins, which started in Oct-22 and progressed to a workshop on the 23rd June 2023.
Simon introduced the meeting he had called with us and positioned the EA as being put into a corner by government policy and funding cuts. He felt that more was to come for 2023.
Set against this, he is looking for new ways of supporting environment objectives within the constrained financial framework.
We produced a 15 page evidenced portfolio challenging their ability to provide any meaningful fisheries service within the Broads and surrounding catchment. Yes it was quite expressive in its language as set against other fisheries teams under Simon’s leadership clearly something is amiss.
The local management naturally attempted to defend their teams position, which I personally challenged as poor leadership and gave examples that under my time in business both public and private sector, these sort of performance outcomes would have serious ramifications for both the staff and the management for overseeing it.
We agreed that communications had failed on every level and we would be more than willing to publish some good news if only we had notice.
We could have continued discussions with this challenge looking at the past, but Simon felt the time was right to look forward and giving the political landscape it needed a new approach in working in partnerships, something BASG had achieved previously. But in recent times had become stalled for whatever reason.
Moving forward we agreed in principle to explore a wide range of 3rd sector engagements in order to enable improved environmental outcomes in the Broadland fishery.
We all felt that this is broader than just fisheries, but the whole Broads Ecology and it’s wildlife as they are intrinsically linked. With avian flu being one such example on who should manage the collection of dead carcasses, no different to dead fish, both subsequently left to rot currently with the resultant public disgust.
So we felt setting some high level definition of what service would we want to see provided would be a sound building block.
The next steps would be to define some sort of underlying grouping of activities such as reactive, proactive and defensive. It would then follow on who would deliver these resultant outcomes, either through statutory authorities or through the 3rd sector in a new model of engagement. Something akin to what we see in the Netherlands VBS.
Therefore, there is lots to think about and what this means to BASG and whether anglers should broaden their horizons and become part of a wider Ecological task force to help save the Broads we all dearly love.
Agenda for moving the Broads Environment Management forward 23rd June 2023.
09:30 Meet and Coffee
10:00 Opening Presentations from BASG/Broadswatch/EA
10:30 Workshop 1 – Breakout in to groups to identify tasks/services that could be completed by a manged 3rd sector to relieve pressure on statutory budgets. Identified tasks to be considered for Risk, training requirement, and logistics.
12:00 Summary of Workshop 1, followed by floor discussion
13:00 Light Lunch
13:30 Workshop 2- Breakout in to groups to discuss and explore the potential operation of a new resource. This will look at Risk Management, communications, management and of course how this would be funded
14:30 Summary of Workshop 2, followed by floor discussion
15:30 Closing comments