Friday, 12 March 2010

Pikers seek talks over BAA bait ban

Britain's top predator club has called for urgent talks with the Birmingham Anglers Association, after it announced a ban on livebaiting without warning.

Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain members in the Midlands who belong to the BAA say they were not consulted over the rule change, which comes as national fishery by-laws are set to come into force giving the green light to the method.

Environment Agency chiefs agreed predator anglers across England and Wales should be allowed to use limited numbers of fish caught on the day for bait after a three-month consultation any angler could take part in.

But in a statement on its website, the BAA says it intends to outlaw the practice, as what it calls "a side effect" of other changes.

"After a wide-ranging and public debate over the issue of removing fish from our rivers for any reason, the EA came down firmly on the side of predator anglers whilst greatly increasing the legal protection afforded to most species of coarse fish," a PAC spokesman said.

"It was a workable compromise we are certain most anglers would be more than happy to live with, judging by responses the EA received, which were published online for anyone to see.

"We are saddened if the Birmingham Anglers Association decides to ignore all of this without even consulting those affected, or considering the bigger picture."

PAC officials overturned a similar ban on BAA waters in the early 1980s, after pointing out the move represented the thin end of the wedge for all angling.

PAC regional organiser Steve Bown has written to BAA secretary John Williams requesting a meeting to put the club's case.

"Predator anglers who are BAA members need to voice their concern directly to the BAA via the contact details on the club's website," he said.

"I have emailed all the local members to this effect and hopefully we will see a good response."
To have your voice heard, contact the BAA via this link.

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