Sea Anglers Look At A Merger


Organisations promoting sea and
freshwater angling in Britain are considering a merger to increase
their influence on government, expand the two sports and eliminate
administrative duplication.

The lead body for English sea angling, the National Federation of
Sea Anglers (NFSA), will shortly sign a letter of intent  to
participate in the early stages of the plan (with the working title of
Angling Unity) following a unanimous vote in favour of doing so by its
board and regional representatives at the weekend (February 16, 2008).

Richard Ferré, chairman of the NFSA, said the
letter of intent would be non- binding indicating only a desire for
Angling Unity to succeed.  

“Becoming a
full member (there are none yet) would be a significant move and our
membership would be fully consulted.  Such a step would only
be taken if there was overwhelming approval for it at an annual general

The letter, however, does enable sea
angling to participate fully in the process of finalising how a new
joint body might function.  It is anticipated it would not be
ready to begin operating before 2009.

it is business as usual,” Mr. Ferré said. “Our activities continue
unchanged and we ask our members to continue to support us.”

The expectation was that Angling
Unity would ultimately be a strong, well funded professional
organisation with a powerful voice for British angling interests in
Europe and at national and local level in the UK, and offer a wide
range of improved membership benefits.

“We would
retain our dedicated focus on sea angling, including the dialogue with
the government over saving coastal fishstocks, organising England’s
international and national championship teams this year and in the
future, and our existing development, education and training
programmes,” Mr. Ferré said.

The project was
started by the Fisheries and Conservation Trust (FACT), an umbrella
organisation of which the NFSA was a founding member in 2004.

The freshwater fishing organisations involved in the
Unity plan are the Angling Conservation Association (ACA), the National
Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC), the
National Federation of Anglers (NFA) and the Salmon & Trout
Association (S&TA).

It is anticipated
that other specialist angling groups would be eligible to join the new