ECHO & THE EUROPEAN CARP PROTECTION
It became very apparent, some 18 months ago, that
there was a large interest in the actions of ECHO, by many anglers
throughout Europe. Indeed within the first few months of the organisation
opening its doors to all anglers a number had joined from three
different European countries. It became even more obvious to the
committee that one way of stopping the flood of illegal fish into
the UK was by stopping them at the source in Europe. After initial
investigations the only way to do this was to move ECHO into Europe
and spread our network over a greater distance. This would hopefully
provide ECHO with more information, and hopefully more smugglers
may be intercepted, with the possibility of the fish being returned
to their natural homes. If regulations across Europe could be tightened
then there would be less opportunity for illegal fish to be sourced
and stolen. All of the above could only be achieved by creating
a working partnership with our Angling counterparts in Europe.
initial contact was made with European Anglers at the VBK show in
December of 2002. The feedback was very positive and a number of
the committee headed to the Zwolle show in Holland in February 2003
to formally launch the European Carp Protection Organisation. A
very positive reaction was met, from the anglers ECHO talked too
about our aims and objctives in Europe, and the mass of information
collated on illegal movements. ECPO was truly up and running. To
continue the work in Europe ECHO committee members attended the
Genk Show in Belgium in late February where many of the main European
carp groups met and agreed upon creating a united front against
the illegal movement of carp.
ECPO will work with all the European Angling organisations
to create a united group that are all interested in the prevention
of illegal fish movements within Europe. Many individual member
countries have unique problems although a universal one seems to
be that of carp and coarse fish thefts.
Germany - killing
of all carp caught ( law)
Belgium - no night
on public waters in France Belgium & Holland
To date ECHO and ECPO have made contact and are
working with all the following major carp organisations :
Dutch Carp Study
Karper Groupe 20
Karper Club 25
In addition ECPO has talked with the NVVS ( Dutch Anglers Assoc)
and AID ( the Dutch fisheries agency)
Fisheries Group ( Voor Belgie)
Federation of Anglers
German Carp Angling Club
Italian carp federation
Spanish carp federation
Its is hoped that by creating a European wide
network, with common aims and objectives, of affiliated groups we
can all try to stop the theft of carp Europe wide. Without this
network we would have never gained so much information as we already
All major carp media / mags offered ECHO /ECPO
press space on a regular basis.
Major meeting of all organisations will be at St Nicklaus in Belgium
in December 2003 where the VBK will be hosts and organisers.
Huge steps taken in just 5 months. Dutch and Belgian
ECPO regions will be fully operational in a few months.
We hope the good work will continue in the future,
and that the strength of the group will continue to grow.
We would like to thank all the people involved
for their assistance and passion. Long may in continue.
United we stand
van Balveren, editor of the Dutch 'De Karperwereld' carp magazine,
is also member of ECHO, KSN, VBK and is a fighter for better carp
fishing for carp and carp angler. Mark is known for his critical
approach regarding private waters containing stolen carp all over
Europe and is a big supporter of the recent developments in Europe
with a big platform been built with all interest groups united.
Mark: 'Keep it Real' doesn't stop at the
boarders of your beautiful country. It's a way of thinking towards
the carp we all love. You can't scream "Keep it Real"
regarding to NON- PUKKA carps in England and then fish your holiday
on a private commercial French fishery, containing stolen carp.
Keep it Real is something to believe in and should be a guideline
through your carp fishing career. Carp anglers all over Europe are
therefore very 'in love' with ECHO, as this approach together with
all interest groups from The Netherlands,
Belgium, France, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Germany etc. gives
us a chance to tell our stories towards carp traffic and take action
By fishing for illegal imports in England, you are not only jeopardizing
the English heritage and future of car pfishing, but also ours,
as our carp populations suffer immensely on various waters by people
Mark van Balveren
Photo 1: Keep it Real in France too!
Photo 2: Protect our heritage united!
Photo 3: Carp traffic causes major fish kills