Angling Trust Consultative Membership Letter

AT Consultative Membership Letter

Below is the copy of the letter revieved by the LFCC concerning membership of The Angling Trust & Fish Legal. This would appear to be applicable to all consultatives and river associations.


Loddon Fisheries & Conservation Consultative
Mr. John Green

19 April 2013

Dear Mr Green,

I am writing to clarify the position with regard to membership of Fish Legal for all consultatives and rivers associations. We experimented with making it possible for this category of member to join Fish Legal for an additional £30 on top of the Angling Trust membership, which included a limited amount of legal advice as a membership benefit. However, we have quickly found that this is not workable. First, it is not possible to assess the scale of a legal issue until it has been opened, and often small issues develop into very lengthy matters and even fully-blown legal cases that need to be issued at court. Second, the fact that a consultative or river association is a member of Fish Legal has deterred angling clubs and individual riparian owners from joining Fish Legal because they mistakenly believe that they would be eligible for legal advice and action if their waters were polluted because their umbrella body is a member. Therefore, so that there is no doubt at all, it will no longer be possible for consultatives and river associations to join Fish Legal. If you are presently a member of the Angling Trust only, then this will not affect your membership, but please do read on for some important information about how Fish Legal operates.

Fish Legal can act only for the owner or lessee (and in some situations the licensee) of any waters or fishing rights that are affected by pollution or other damage, rather than for their umbrella body, In order to do so the relevant club or person must be a pre-existing member of Fish Legal at the time of the incident, and so it is important that clubs and riparian owners join up at the earliest opportunity. Also, membership fees are essential to provide the income we need to cover the very substantial costs of employing our legal team and engaging scientific experts and Barristers. So we need as many clubs and riparian owners (and individual anglers) as possible to join us, and we must do everything we can to avoid them being put off from becoming members.
If you, as a consultative or river association, contact Fish Legal asking for our help with a matter affecting one or more of your members, we will quickly need to have direct contact with the relevant member club(s) and/or riparian owner(s) who are affected in order to confirm our instructions and who we are authorised to deal with. In exceptional circumstances, a group of member clubs may wish to appoint the consultative or river association to deal with Fish Legal on their behalf for a particular issue, but this would need to be confirmed by all the affected members in writing, with a very clear mandate about the scope of that representation. In claims for compensation it would most likely still be necessary to deal with the individual affected parties directly rather than the consultative, because of the complex nature of legal rights and liabilities that are involved.

Your Angling Trust membership is not affected in any way and we will continue to provide you with membership benefits including free liability insurance for your administrative activities. Please do encourage all your members, of whatever type, to join both the Angling Trust and Fish Legal so that we can do even more to protect and improve fish stocks and fishing. Our membership department would be very happy to supply you with membership forms to send to your members and a template letter alerting them to the benefits of club and/or riparian owner/fishery membership of both organisations.
If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact me directly and I will be happy to discuss the arrangements with you.

With all best wishes and many thanks for your support,

Mark Lloyd,
Chief Executive, Angling Trust and Fish Legal