Letter: Caring anglers? Ask the fish

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Caring anglers? Ask the fish

Sir: For the many anglers D A Beaumont (letter, 28 December) says he knows who go to great lengths to ensure the safety and welfare of fish they catch, I know many who do not.

I observe them quite regularly on my daily walks, sitting along the river bank and, in the summer, often asleep with cans of lager at their side, waiting for the electronic bite alarm on their rods to wake them if they get a bite. What skill is there in that? I rarely see an unhooking mat used; hence the damaged fish one can see in photographs in the angling press, injured by either being de-hooked on gravel surfaces or being kept too long with other fish in a keep net.

My daily walk to the river is to check on swans for a local rescue group. Most days - somewhere - a tackled swan is rescued and treated, often for the surgical removal of barbed hooks and other angling equipment. There is now a need for a National Swan Convention held in the autumn at Stratford- upon-Avon to review this growing problem.

Anglers may well wish to give the impression of caring for the waters and wildlife but there is a cruel and unacceptable face to this sport.

ROSALIND BARNES

Langley, Berkshire

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