Britain's millions of anglers came a step closer to having one organisation to represent all their interests today, as a merger between some of the sport's leading bodies looked certain to go ahead.
The boards of the Anglers’ Conservation Association, National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives, National Federation of Anglers, and Salmon and Trout Association have agreed to their Chairmen signing a letter of intent committing them to the development of the new body.
The full membership of each organisation will be consulted before final agreement. The National Federation of Sea Anglers has been fully involved and will formally consider joining next Spring. Other fisheries organisations will also be welcome.
The development has been led by FACT, the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust, which already acts as an umbrella body for angling. FACT Chairman Jim Glasspool said:
“This is a major step forward towards a unified organisation which will be able to provide an improved range of services to millions of anglers and be an effective voice for them. Much remains to be done but there is an enthusiasm and commitment from everyone to achieve that goal.”
Michael Heylin, secretary of SAA and a board member of FACT, said, "The SAA, as a member of FACT, has been fully supportive of these moves towards a single unified body. We look forward to working as part of the new structure and representing specialist anglers during its
"For a long time angling and anglers have needed a single body to represent the sport professionally, at last it looks as if we have it within our grasp. SAA would like to congratulate those who have made the commitment to the future for their farsightedness and
determination to succeed in these delicate discussions."