Enforce the laws that already exist to protect wild fish.

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  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
The quickest way to reverse the damage done to the aquatic environment is to implement and enforce the existing law.

WildFish calls on the next UK Government to save wild fish and their waters through three key asks: 

  • Instruct the regulators to enforce the law that already exists to protect wild fish and freshwater. 
  • Fund the regulators properly to do their job.
  • Provide the political will, leadership, courage and integrity to stop the water environment rot.

Breaking through the noise

With the general election fast approaching, there’s a lot of talk about what the next UK Government can do for the environment, particularly rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

Many demand headline-grabbing reviews and new laws. MPs love passing new laws. But are they necessary?

More reviews will delay progress. There is a simpler, cheaper and quicker way to reverse the damage done to the aquatic environment: 

Implement and enforce the existing law. 

Reversing the decline of wild fish populations

Freshwater species are declining at five times the rate of those on land. The devastation of our rivers, lakes and streams is exemplified by our plummeting populations of wild Atlantic salmon, now endangered in UK waters and at risk of extinction.  

Regulations to protect wild fish are not being enforced. Acting now is paramount to restoring populations and reversing the declining condition of our watery places. After all, if our rivers are fit for salmon, they are fit for anything – including us.

Getting the job done

For England, we set out what needs to be done in Doing its Job – published in 2021 and still valid today. Now we want the new Government to do its job. 

The new Secretary of State for the Environment must work with the devolved administrations to implement and enforce the environmental laws already in the statute book.

They will need the firm backing of the Treasury and the Prime Minister, in the same way that the Environment Ministers depend on the support of First Ministers in Wales, Scotland and Northern. In short, political will and commitment to stop the rot.

To start the process, the UK Government and the devolved governments must urgently provide environmental regulators with proper funding and clear, strong and, most importantly, unambiguous instructions to protect and improve the aquatic environment. 

We are done with half-hearted policies aimed at dumbing down enforcement.

We need the next government to act to protect wild fish – before we lose key species like the Atlantic salmon altogether.

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