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Saturday, 10 October 2009 13:18

Anglers’ dismay over cyanide fish kill on River Trent

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Anglers have reacted with dismay and anger to the news that thousands of fish in the River Trent have been killed by what is reported to be a mix of cyanide and raw sewage. The river is very popular with anglers and was the venue for this year’s Angling Trust 2nd division national coarse angling championship, which saw hundreds of anglers gather from all over the country to compete for the coveted trophy.

Angling Trust Fishing NewsAngling clubs and individuals have invested huge amounts of money and volunteer time over several generations in improving the River Trent, both through physical works to improve habitats and by campaigning for improvement of water quality. This spill could reverse years of hard work to improve the river and its tributaries.

The news comes just two weeks after the Angling Trust launched a specific campaign, in partnership with WWF and the HSBC Climate Partnership, to address surface water run-off from Birmingham causing pollution downstream. There were significant fish kills earlier this year on the River Tame, a tributary of the Trent, and on the main river itself after thunderstorms over the city flushed pollutants into the river.

The Angling Trust’s Environmental Campaigns Manager Mark Owen will be travelling the length of the affected stretch of the river this morning to make an initial assessment of the damage to fish and other wildlife. He will be working closely with the Environment Agency to identify the polluter as soon as possible.

Fish Legal, which acts as the legal arm of the Angling Trust in England, will be investigating the potential for taking a civil claim for compensation on behalf of its member angling clubs and riparian owners on the river. This claim would complement any criminal prosecution by the Environment Agency in punishing whoever is found to be responsible for this pollution.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: “This incident demonstrates yet again the need for business to take the utmost care in handling noxious chemicals. Drains should never be used as a means of disposing of waste chemicals. We will be pressing for a full investigation of this tragedy and will do everything we can to make the polluters pay for the damage they have done to our members’ interests on the river.”

Mark Owen, Environmental Campaigns Manager at the Angling Trust said: “Once more the River Trent has suffered a severe pollution incident which has killed thousands of fish. We will continue to campaign for as long as it takes for the systems to be put in place to prevent these incidents being repeated.”

The Angling Trust is warning all anglers to keep clear of the river and not to handle any dead fish or take any samples of water.

For further information, please contact Mark Lloyd on 07973 468198 or Mark Owen on 07545 733245.

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