Ribble Fisheries Consultative Association Partners with Angling Trust to Combat Water Pollution

Written by: Nigel Geary
On April 29th, a troubling scene unfolded along one of our rivers, captured and reported through the Ribble Fisheries APP. The images were stark—pollution marring the water, a distressing sight that unfortunately is not unique to this incident but part of a wider, national issue. This blog post delves into the challenges we face with water quality and the proactive measures being undertaken through a promising partnership between the Ribble Fisheries Consultative Association (RFCA) and the Angling Trust.

The Incident: A Call to Action

Mid-morning, using our Ribble Fisheries APP, an angler reported a significant pollution incident. The prompt report and the distressing photographs highlighted the urgent need for action. It’s crucial to call out such failings in our environmental stewardship; however, it’s equally important to acknowledge and support the effective responses that often go unnoticed.
Following the report, it was immediately escalated the Environment Agency (EA) Hotline. In addition, I contacted local EA team who responded with commendable speed and within no time their Land and Water Team had deployed someone to investigate further. Similarly, through the actions of EA Catchment Coordinator United Utilities (UU), where informed to dispatch to manage the incident and conduct a clean-up. The swift actions taken by these teams exemplify the type of rapid response mechanism we aim to promote through our partnership.

Investigation and Response

The initial investigation revealed that the pollution resulted from a fracture and blockage in the drainage course. United Utilities acted promptly, stopping the pollution at its source. Subsequently, contractors were sent to inspect and ensure the integrity of the infrastructure, preventing further incidents. This effective response not only mitigated the immediate environmental threat but also set a standard for future emergency protocols.

Partnership for a Cleaner Future

The RFCA is now looking to strengthen our collaborative efforts with the Angling Trust under their Anglers Against Pollution campaign. This partnership is focused on enhancing our advocacy for cleaner rivers through both prevention measures and prompt, effective responses to pollution incidents.

Our recent experience underscores the importance of community involvement and efficient communication channels between anglers, environmental bodies, and utility services. The angler who reported the incident provided a critical service, not just in alerting authorities but in activating a chain of response that led to a swift resolution.

Moving Forward: Acknowledgment and Improvement

While it’s crucial to call out shortcomings in our environmental protection, acknowledging effective responses is equally vital. This incident not only highlighted what went wrong but also how future situations could be better handled. By forming a network link with UU, RFCA aims to ensure that future issues are resolved swiftly, reinforcing that anglers and river users’ efforts can lead to positive outcomes.

Moreover, this incident has reinforced my appreciation for the dedicated local agency staff and workers who share our commitment to bettering the environment. However, we must maintain pressure on higher-level decision-makers, encouraging them to shift from being part of the problem to becoming part of the solution.

Conclusion

As we continue our collaboration with the Angling Trust and local stakeholders, we invite all members of our angling community to download the Ribble Fisheries APP (link and QR code to follow) and join us in this vital effort. Together, we can protect our rivers and ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations.

EA – Hotline 0800 80 70 60

UU Report A Problem - 0345 672 3723