09/10/2013 - Angling Trust Welcomes New Fisheries Minister but Sad to See Benyon Go
My opinion is this is a bad day for angling, Richard Benyon promised action on cormorants, he honoured that promise. I don't have the same confidence in Eustice more so being a former press secretary said Martin James
After weeks of speculation David Cameron´s ministerial reshuffle has seen the removal of keen angler Richard Benyon from his post as Fisheries Minister in the coalition government and his replacement by the PM´s former press secretary George Eustice.
Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said:“Richard Benyon has been very receptive to the concerns of anglers and has made a personal commitment to improving the water environment. He responded positively to our Judicial Review with WWF of the river basin management plans by releasing £92 million of new funding and pressing the Environment Agency to be more ambitious in improving water habitats. He initiated a review of cormorant licensing and recently announced a needs-based approach to managing predation by cormorants and goosanders, with three new catchment advisors to be employed by the Angling Trust. He fought hard at a European level to deliver the first steps towards Common Fisheries Policy reform and to review the bass Minimum Landing Size."
He added:"Richard Benyon supported our vision of greater delivery of angling promotion and environmental management by third sector organisations and launched the National Angling Strategy last year. He has also been immensely personable and a pleasure to work with. His are large boots to fill and we hope to be working closely with his successor, George Eustice, to continue developing all these programmes and more for the good of fish and fishing.”
Angling Trust campaigns chief Martin Salter, former parliamentary neighbour and colleague of Benyon said:"Whilst we are extremely sad to see Richard go and would have hoped to see someone appointed with a greater knowledge of the huge economic and social benefits that recreational fishing delivers it is clear that George Eustice is a serious and thoughtful guy who has not been afraid to take a stand. I´m encouraged by his environmental credentials and hope he will follow through on the good work that Richard Benyon initiated, particularly on bass conservation and over fishing at sea."
The Angling Trust is sending a briefing on key issues affecting angling to Mr Eustice this week with a request for an early meeting with him to reflect the importance of angling to more than 3 million voters. Angling employs 37,000 people and generates £3.5 billion to the economy.
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