Why should you join AT? This is a question that is regularly asked and usually two points are raised: “I pay my rod licence to the EA that is enough” and “my club is a member that is enough”. In Truth that is not enough, our rivers and water ways have been degraded over the years to such an extent that by European standards over 50% of them fail for fish populations. The EA is a large organisation of which Fisheries is a small part, getting smaller and overshadowed by the huge spending on Flood Defence work which often is counter to what is good for fish. We paid them £26 million pounds last year from rod licences to “protect & improve fisheries” do you know where this has gone? We don’t! The Angling Trust has now been accepted by the EA as a body to scrutinise this and this is the first time this has been achieved. Anglers will know in future!
But why does the “Anglers Trust” need large numbers of members? Surely Clubs being members is enough? No it is not! Why? The EA is a delivery body of DEFRA which in turn is accountable to politicians at Westminster; the EA does not do policy. Before AT was formed water policy was influenced by other organisations. Politicians work the numbers game – how many people will vote for me? For example the RSPB has 1 million members who vote. Anglers Trust needs 1 million anglers to join to have the same power. Anglers Trust have some great Members of Parliament who are anglers but they all say the same thing “to be effective in policy making increase your membership”.
AT is now a professional organisation, not only is it active in Westminster looking after your concerns but as members of the European Anglers Alliance AT are keeping an eye on and influencing developments in Europe. The Government announced recently that £92 million pounds would be spent on our rivers and water ways, this would not have happened without AT and partners WWF. As the editor of the Angling Times said recently “The Angling Trust has proved now beyond doubt that it is the voice to take the sport forward”.
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