FISHING FEATURE: Building bridges with migrants

Angling
Angling

People at the meeting on Friday were also told about a project run by the Angling Trust called Building Bridges.

Polish angler Radoslaw Papiewski, who leads the project, described the differences in rules and regulations between countries, particularly his home country where it is essential to have a rod license and separate permit from the water authority and where people are allowed to remove a certain number of fish above certain sizes and of different types.

He said: “Someone who comes to fish, he doesn’t do it because he breaks the law, he does it because this is how we have been grown up.”

He also described lessons the group could take from other countries such as using volunteer enforcers – Poland has 5,000 volunteers backing up 500 fishing authority officers.

He said the Building Bridges project aimed to help anglers from Eastern Europe understand UK laws and customs including seasons, and catch and release laws.

He said people and fishing businesses in the UK can contribute to Building Bridges by understanding that not every migrant angler is fishing for food and initiatives such as getting migrant anglers on board in their clubs, implementing signage around fisheries and holding integrated fishing matches.