The Ribble Fisheries Consultative Association, formerly the Ribble Fisheries Association, was founded in 1951, a year which saw the formation of the River Boards with responsibilities for flood defence, pollution control and fisheries. A few years previously the Chief Inspector for Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries had suggested the setting up of fisheries Consultatives to represent the interests of fisheries within specified areas – usually river catchments.
In 1986 the Standing Conference of Consultatives was established under the auspices of the National Anglers’ Council (NAC), and this Association became a member. In 1991 NAC was dissolved and two years later the Standing Conference became a self-supporting body known as the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC). This now includes Consultatives from all over the country and is the most rapidly growing angling organisation.
For many years anglers have suffered from differences of opinion and vested interests. At last in 2008-9 that changed with the formation of the Angling Trust - a coming together angling representative groups such as NAFAC, ACA - to represent all branches and aspects of angling across the country. The work formerly done by the ACA in taking legal action against polluters and other is encompassed within the new Trust as Fish Legal. At last anglers can speak with one voice.
There are membership categories for individuals, clubs and Consultatives, thereby, potentially encompassing all anglers and providing the necessary contacts with government and other representative bodies across Europe.
Consultatives have no executive powers. Rather, they work in a variety of ways to influence the “powers that be” in order to ensure that fisheries and angling are protected and developed. Our objectives are summed up as follows:
“To safeguard and promote the interests of owners, lessees of fishing, and anglers, by developing sustainable fisheries and maximising the riverine environment through consultation with the environment Agency and other bodies with similar aims and objectives.”
As a body, we do not own any fishing, but our members are drawn from a large number of clubs, Associations, and riparian owners within the Ribble Catchment.
The “other bodies” referred to include the Hodder Consultative, The Ribble Catchment Conservation Trust, The Lancashire Fisheries Consultative Association and Government Ministries.
By working together we seek to achieve our objectives. However, insufficient funding through “Grant in Aid” to the Environment Agency Fisheries function has made “self help” necessary. Without it our fisheries would be very seriously under threat. All anglers have an obligation to help in any way they can in order to ensure the long-term future of angling.