S&TCUK is the only overtly campaigning fisheries charity operating in the UK.
Why are S&TCUK campaigns important?
We believe that there is a lack of political commitment across the UK to protect our rivers, streams, lochs and lakes, and the fish and other water-dependent wildlife they support. All UK Governments are striving for economic expansion, which they often term as 'sustainable growth,' and so a healthy water environment and fish stocks are not high on the political agenda. That’s why we need to be robust in reminding government departments and agencies of their environmental responsibilities. The best way of achieving that is to campaign, using sound scientific data and legal clout where necessary, which is exactly what S&TCUK does
How does S&TCUK run its campaigns?
There is more to being 'robust' than merely attending meetings and lobbying decision makers, who tend to tell you what they think you want to hear at the time and then go away and settle for the easy option – take no action! S&TCUK therefore has a two-pronged campaigning approach:
- We use the best available scientific evidence to support our work influencing governments and their agencies to adopt policies designed to genuinely restore the damage done to our water environments and fish stocks.
- If decision makers do not act on the science (which they increasingly don’t do if it doesn’t suit their own agendas), we legally challenge them where we think we can prove that they are failing in their statutory duties under national or European fisheries and/or environmental legislation.
How does S&TCUK choose its Campaigns?
With limited resources, we cannot hope to address all the problems our waterways and fish stocks face, so we have to prioritise campaigns which we believe have the best chance of highlighting legal failures to protect fish and their habitats. We especially look for dangers evident in areas legally protected under European legislation – Governments can too easily override their own laws, whereas it is more difficult to do so under EU Directives, which carry heavy fines for member states if objectives are not achieved. However, our campaigns are selected so that they act as proxies for addressing all the problems our fisheries' environments face.