Working With...

Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
National Angling Alliance
Environment Agency

ECHO gains 'National Angling Alliance' support

In June 2003 ECHO was delighted to confirm that The National Angling Alliance (NAA) was to give its backing to us in our attempts to change fishery legislation regarding the illegal importation of carp and other coarse fish into the UK. Many coarse fish imported from mainland Europe have been obtained illegally, and they are able to act as carriers of potentially fatal diseases to which UK fish have no immunity. The consequences can be - and have been - widespread fish mortalities in fisheries where such fish have been introduced.

Ian Chillcott, ECHO Founder and Chairman said :

"This is a huge and exciting step forward in the battle against the flood of illegally imported fish that threaten our sport. ECHO has always understood the need to link angling with Governmental organisations and offer a united front in order to achieve the sweeping changes requires to safeguard its own future. To have gained the full backing of the NAA has forged another crucial political link and we are delighted that they have given us their support"

" ECHO has become a vitally important link between anglers and Government bodies like CEFAS and the EA. Now we also have the potential to air our views direct to the Government through the Moran Committee and the NAA. This new link is provided by the SAA and makes us a much more powerful voice in the political arena."

In the next few months the NAA intends to place the ECHO campaign on its agenda at meetings with key governmental departments, English Nature and other influential organisations.

Members of the NAA are:

Angling Trade Association
National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives
National Federation of Anglers
National Federation of Sea Anglers
Salmon & Trout association
Specialist Anglers Alliance


The Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) is an agency of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. CEFAS, through its Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI), is responsible for the implementation of the European Union Fish Health Regime and preventing the spread of serious fish disease in England and Wales. The FHI is also responsible for the illegal import of live fish into Great Britain.

Many consider that the increasing number of unexplained fish mortalities in the UK are potentially the greatest threat to indigenous fish and may result from the illegal import of fish carrying disease in recent years. Illegal imports pose a significant threat of serious fish disease outbreaks, which could threaten the future of angling, the livelihoods of many fishery and fish owners, and the destruction of millions of our native fish.

CEFAS works closely with the English carp Heritage Organisation whose stated aim is to assist in preventing illegal fish movements entering this country.

All imports of live fish must be accompanied by a movement document attesting that the fish are healthy and free from disease. The veterinary authorities in the country of origin must sign the document, and prior notice of the movements sent to CEFAS by importers. Imports, which fail to meet these criteria, contravene the Fish Health regulations 1997.

By setting its principled and responsible example ECHO is helping CEFAS to prevent the smuggling of live fish.

CEFAS needs the help of the industry and anglers in its attempts to stop these offences.

Any information regarding suspicions of illegal imports should be sent to the Investigations Inspector, CEFAS Laboratory, Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, England. DT4 8UB or by email to

Telephone - 01305 206681 or 01305 206673 (Main Office)

For further details on CEFAS and the work of the FHI inspectors see and

Alternatively details of suspicious fish movements can be passed onto ECHO who will contact the relevant authorities.

Click here to Read An CEFAS Perspective on ECHO


SAA represents single species groups, sports fishermen and recreational fishing clubs. SAA promotes the establishment and maintenance of marine and freshwater environments that are pollution free and conducive to the growth and healthy life of fish and other organisms.

SAA advocates the protection of fish stocks and habitats; encourages participation among people of all ages in the sport of fishing; serves as a clearinghouse on fish records; functions as an umbrella organisation linking organisations of anglers who specialise in catching particular species of fish, assists in the maintenance of the British Freshwater Fish Record Fish List run by BRFC. SAA raises funds to assist in the protection of angling, rivers, stillwater and other fish habitats.

Email us on or view our website on

Click here to Read An SAA Perspective on ECHO


The Environment Agency are the leading public body protecting and protecting and improving the environment in England and Wales. Within fisheries they are responsible for the regulation of inland and coastal fisheries, from salmon nets, to anglers rod licenses.

The Environment Agency is responsible for evaluating and consenting of all inland fish introductions and movements to fisheries. All fish introductions and fish capture requires written consent from the Agency prior to the activity taking place. The Agency promotes a Buyer Beware policy to all fish movements, this outlines the risks involved in fish introductions and promotes health checking of all fish movements. All introductions of fish to "open systems" by law require a health check to be carried out in order to screen for Category 2 parasites and other fish diseases. The Agency is responsible for the investigation of all wild fish disease outbreaks and has had much involvement investigating unexplained carp mortalities. The National Fisheries Laboratory at Brampton are specifically geared up for fish health checking and disease investigation and will provide fishery management advice to those who submit fish to them for investigation. Full disease investigation will include sampling for parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungi and will also include histological sampling (fixing tissue and looking at condition and pathologies at cell level.)

If you suspect illegal fish introductions are taking place or you see evidence of a wild fish disease outbreak. Please contact the Environment Agency emergency number:
0800 80 70 60

For further information on the role of the Environment Agency, see: