FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 8

New training scheme for key volunteers
helping to protect England’s fisheries
A training programme has been introduced to assist key volunteers working with the Angling Trust’s army of
nearly 500 volunteer bailiffs protecting fisheries in England.
Following research into volunteering best practice by Fisheries
Enforcement Support Officer Karen
Sarkar, a dedicated training package
has now been created for all Area
Coordinators (ACs) operating within
the Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS).
The first of these sessions took
place in the North West region on Saturday, 21st April, at Fir Tree Fishery,
Wigan, and represents a landmark in
the history of VBS. As well as information on confidentially, data protection
and health & safety issues, ACs also
had sessions on developing their roles
and managing and motivating volunteer bailiffs.
Funded by fishing licence income,
the VBS is an increasingly important
partnership between the Angling
Trust and Environment Agency and
now has 496 trained volunteer bailiffs
acting as ‘eyes and ears’ protecting
fish and fisheries and reporting information and incidents to the Agency
and police, enabling action to be
taken against offenders.
Angling Trust Regional Enforcement Managers are responsible for
the VBS in their regions supported by
Area Coordinators – key volunteers
whose role is to maintain communication with volunteer bailiffs locally,
help arrange joint patrols with the
Agency and police, and generally
support the process.
D a v e L e e s , A n g l i n g Tr u s t ’s
Regional Enforcement Manager
(North West), said: “This training is
Saving the Earth report calls for
changes in farming to protect our
rivers and lakes from pollution
another important step in the continued development of the VBS. It is
always a pleasure to meet up with our
knowledgeable and committed volunteers, who give up their time to
positively contribute, and I am grateful to all who attended. I would particularly like to thank Fir Tree Fishery
for the use of their excellent facilities.”
Kevin O’Sullivan, Merseyside Area
C o o r d i n a t o r, s a i d : “ T h i s i s r e a l
progress and an indication of how
important and valued the Area Coordinator role is. The information and
discussions on the day will help ACs
work more closely with the Regional
Enforcement Manager and local volunteer bailiffs, increasing communication and coordinating effort.”
The training was supported by
Andy Eaves, Environment Agency
Fisheries Officer, who commented:
“This training is all part of the Agency
and Angling Trust working together
to protect fish and fisheries. Meeting
the local Area Coordinators really
helps us to cement this important
AC t r a i n i n g a n d g e n e r a l V B S
refresher training will be provided by
enforcement and policing professionals in all six English regions over the
coming weeks. The VBS is currently
engaged in Operation CLAMPDOWN
6, the annual multi-agency focus on
illegal fishing and fish theft during the
coarse close season. n
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