Often as soon as the word "conservation" appears in a title many anglers will shift their eyes or click their mouse to look for something else more interesting to read. I know because in the past I have done it myself.

This sad lack of interest is often fuelled by the perception that our organisations, in particular the National Federation of Sea Anglers is impotent in the face of commercial pressure and high finance lobbying in the halls of power. As a professional observer of events and opinions concerning the sea angling "industry", it is not difficult to sense the beginnings of a profound change in the way that anglers feel toward the conservation of fish and the protection of our sport.

The quotation "For evil to triumph, all that good men have to do, is to avert their eyes" is a saying which has pricked more than a few consciences in the past year, and it is true to say that the NFSA have woken up to the fact that they do have some influence. I have just spent the last hour reading and re-reading the "Evidence for the review of the Common Fisheries Policy" submitted by the NFSA by Malcolm Gilbert the NFSA Fisheries Liaison Officer.
The main tenet of which is that most so called conservation in the past has been focussed on the preservation of jobs in the commercial fishing industry, rather than on the conservation of the fish…… now that short sighted policy will mean hundreds of job losses.

Fishermen’s leaders are screaming for compensation - even though it is their greed which has caused the problem in the first place. Why should they be paid compensation? They have already had the money…or at least the owners have, it’s the men on deck I feel sorry for.

It would be easy for me to prattle on about other aspects of this paper, suffice to say that the NFSA in the person of Malcolm Gilbert has someone who understands the problems and has the patience and gumption to make the right choices. With the election of Mike North to lead the NFSA we have a man with the presence and dignity to represent us at the highest level, I truly believe that we have a real chance to make a difference at last.

What is desperately needed now is for all the independent Sea Angling organisations to bury their differences, forget the petty politics and get behind the NFSA to wage this war. Irrespective of the politics, every single one of us who lives the life, who lives the angling dream of crystal clear, fish filled sea’s, should stump up to become an individual member of the NFSA because we are not going to get anywhere near that ideal for free.

If you regard this as a voluntary licence then so be it, at least we will know where the money is going.

Doing nothing is not an option!!