Since the end of communism and the inclusion of certain former Eastern Bloc countries in the European Union, many people from those places have come to live or work in England. In countries such as Poland and Lithuania, angling is extremely popular – but the culture there revolves around fishing for the pot, a practice largely discontinued in Britain after the end of the Second World War. Here, anglers practice ‘catch and return’ in what is an enlightened, conservation-based, approach to fishing. Understandably, British anglers have been incensed when valuable fish have been killed in England for the pot by Eastern European anglers – but information concerning British angling law and rules can be hard to find for people newly arrived in this country. The ‘Building Bridges’ Project, therefore, provides a facility to educate and integrate migrant anglers, and is an important component of our police-based enforcement strategy. Building Bridges is a component part of the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service.
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The Angling Trust has fully researched angling in Eastern Europe, visiting Poland and Lithuania to learn about angling law and rules in addition to setting up working partnerships with government ministers and enforcement agencies. This has helped provide information on British angling in those countries, and we are supported here by the Lithuanian and Polish Ambassadors, and Daniel Kawczynski MP, the British Prime Minister’s Envoy on Polish & Eastern European Diaspora in the UK. For more information, please see:
At ‘grass roots’ level, our Building Bridges staff can help British angling clubs by translating their rules into different languages and providing multi-lingual signage – it is important to understand that not everyone responds to education, so prosecution, therefore, may be the only option; ensuring that there is no excuse for rule-breaking is an essential part of the evidence required – which is another reason we provide multi-lingual signage and information. Our staff engages with migrant communities, including schools, spreading the word and encouraging other ex-patriots to join British clubs and fish by the rules. Importantly, Building Bridges staff will also work with angling clubs to host integrated angling events. Building Bridges staff also contributes to Voluntary Bailiff Service training and Fisheries Enforcement Workshops, providing an always well received and thought-provoking presentation.
Any angling clubs requiring further information regarding or assistance from Building Bridges, should contact Project Manager and founder Rado Papiewski: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0572 779925.