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The ECHO Research Fund is launched - 20th March 2004
ECHO is proud to announce that The ECHO Research Fund has been established to fund priority projects and research, directly related to the protection of the future of carp angling in the UK .
The Research fund was initiated after a meeting in November 2003 between CEFAS, the EA and ECHO in Reading where ECHO expressed its interest in funding research work. It was felt that this step was an essential one in ECHOs stance of ‘Making a Difference' with regards the welfare of our coarse fish stocks.
Without the financial support and impetus provided by ECHO, these projects would not be funded for a number of years into the future. The first project, due to start in March 2004, is the development and validation of a serological tool for KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) surveillance. This will enable fish to be screened for KHV reducing the potential for the disease to be transferred via otherwise ‘healthy' looking fish. The second project, due to start in September 2004, will be regarding SCMS (Spring Carp Mortality Syndrome) related fish deaths. The research will be based on the detection and identification of unculturable large DNA viruses that may be causing disease in fish populations. At present the causative agent of SCMS has yet to be confirmed but this project will lead to new methods to detect the presence of any unknown viruses in samples taken from fish kills believed to involve SCMS. The methodology created from this project has many other avenues in the identification of novel fish viruses besides that of SCMS.
Both projects are to be carried out in conjunction with both the Environment Agency and CEFAS. The majority of the research work will be carried out at the CEFAS laboratories in Weymouth .
ECHO is attending a meeting with the Department for the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It is hoped, after this meeting, that all ECHO financial contributions to fish disease research projects with CEFAS and the EA will be matched, pound for pound, by DEFRA via the Committee on Aquaculture Research and Development (CARD).
The fund was started at the end of January 2004 with the transfer of £1,000.00 from the main ECHO account. As soon as finances allow, further funds will be transferred, ensuring that the membership has a direct contribution to this essential work.
Funding has also been sought from the carp angling industry and in November 2003 over 100 letters were sent to relevant companies. To date, the response has been limited, with only a few confirmed responses, but sincere thanks must be given to Danny Fairbrass and Korda for starting the ball rolling with a fantastic pledge of £1,000.00 and a significant donation from Carp Tech has boosted the funding account further still.
Approaches are also being made to the Ornamental Fish Industry, as the problem is not just angling related. It is considered important to co-ordinate all efforts to combat what is a very real threat to our sport and the industry as a whole. This will hopefully lead to further research into fish disease that threatens both the angling and ornamental industries.
All funds raised will be controlled directly by the ECHO Research Fund Committee that consists of Mick Barnes (Account Manager), Viv Shears (ECHO Vice Chairman) and Simon Scott (ECHO Fisheries Technical Advisor).
Regular Press Releases will be made by ECHO to detail the progress of both the fund-raising and the research in the near future.
The ECHO Research Fund - 24th January 2004
The English Carp Heritage Organisation has recently launched the ECHO Research Fund. This fund is aimed at raising revenue from the angling industry, anglers and other interested parties to co fund research into novel fish diseases that are currently, or likely to be in the future, a severe threat to UK carp and coarse fisheries. This work will be carried out in conjunction with both The Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and the Environment Agency.
The prevention and eradication of fish diseases, especially Spring Viraemia of Carp, Spring Carp Mortality Syndrome and Koi Herpes Virus, is particularly important to the nation's fisheries in the present situation of potential climate change. The climate changes could lead to extensive outbreaks of these diseases in the predicted warmer waters of the future. Such research might be the key, which prevents extensive future outbreaks and gives us all a better understanding of other fish diseases and their progress through fish populations.
ECHO hopes that this will encourage anglers in general, and carp anglers in particular, to be a far more responsible and professional body, capable of adopting a more positive role, in partnership with the authorities, in respect of fish welfare and understanding the importance of tackling disease. This proposed project has received widespread support in the press and is backed by the SAA, NAA and the Moran Committee.
ECHO is also in the process of applying to DEFRA, via the Committee for Aquaculture Research and Development (CARD) which sets priorities for future R&D, for government funding matching the figure that ECHO raises from within the industry.
More details on this as the research starts this year.
Angling groups act to halt illegal fish imports - 24th January 2004
The Moran Committee is pleased to give its backing to The English Carp Heritage Organisation (ECHO) in its bid to promote sweeping changes in fishery legislation.
ECHO is a 1,300 strong protection group fighting against the illegal importation of carp and other coarse species into the UK , and it is lobbying for tougher legislation on this important matter. 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 mortalities in fisheries where such fish have been introduced.
Already actively working with the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Specialist Anglers' Alliance (SAA), ECHO believes that their voice can only add weight to the demands for new legislation to protect the future of angling and fisheries at home and abroad.
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 angling requires to safeguard its own future. To have gained the full backing of the Moran Committee 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 Government through the Moran Committee. This new link is provided by the SAA and makes us a much more powerful voice in the political arena.”
The Moran Committee will place the ECHO campaign on its agenda at meetings with key Government departments, English Nature and other influential organisations.
Cefas: 01305 206681
Environment Agency National Fish Movement Team: 01840 414581
ECHO & SAA FORGE NEW LINKS! - 21st November 2003
On the 15 th October members of the ECHO steering committee met with Specialist Anglers Alliance (SAA) to develop stronger working communications and activities between the two groups. Of prime concern were ECHO's widely acclaimed objectives halting the barbaric illegal importation of carp and other coarse fish species into the UK and to lobby for tougher legislation regarding the legal importation of such fish into the United Kingdom.
Tim Marks, SAA Vice President said:
“The efforts of ECHO in highlighting the endemic problems with the importation of carp, whether legally or illegally, into this country has brought the matter to the attention of not only the grass roots angler but also those involved that deal directly with legislation covering this area. With the popular support that ECHO has raised and the SAA's connections into fishery legislative groups a strong partnership is developing that will, without doubt, benefit the future of UK fisheries.”
Ian Chillcott, ECHO Founder and Chairman said:
“Prior to this meeting our working relationship with the SAA was good. Following this meeting it became clear to committee members and myself that the SAA and ECHO working more closely together is even more vital to achieve both of the organisations objectives. We have a great opportunity between ourselves, the SAA, NAA, Moran Committee CEFAS and the EA to have a positive impact regarding the importation of coarse fish into our country.”
Chris Burt, SAA Vice President said:
“The result of the meeting between ECHO and ourselves has strengthened both groups resolve to bring about legislative change regarding illegal imports that have threatened, and are continuing to do so, our native carp and coarse fish stocks.
It has also given us an invaluable opportunity to forge new links to move forward representation for carp anglers”
Publications Back ECHO - 6th November 2003
Tim Paisley confirmed that ECHO will have the full support of 'Angling
Publications' in this Novembers issue of Carpworld. The support
was confirmed in a reply from Tim to a Press Release from the Carp
Society which also saw the withdrawal of Angling Publications support
for the Society.
Speaking on behalf of ECHO 'Chilly' commented "firstly
on behalf of ECHO I would like to thank Tim and Angling Publications
for their support. It is a big step forward for us and has already
helped to raise the profile of the organisation and the membership
levels, and it also proves ECHO is an organisation to be taken seriously
and is here to stay"
to read the Carp Society's Press Release and Tim's reply, or why
not buy Carpworld which this month also has articles from both of
ECHO's front men, Chilly and Jenks.
Very shortly the next issue of "ECHOES"
will be posted out to all our members, and it looks like being the
best issue yet!
There has also been some confusion over renewal
subscriptions. Renewals are due every April, and if you have not
received your "ECHOES" magazine by the 28th of November,
then please contact the membership secretary at the ECHO office
at Yateley Angling Centre, by post.
Early in the New Year, existing members will be
receiving standing order information that will make your renewal
process a lot easier.
Thank you for your support,
CEFAS Perspective on ECHO - 13th October 2003
As the government agency responsible for preventing the spread of
serious fish disease in England and Wales, CEFAS (Centre for Environment
Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) is keen to work
with any responsible group or organisation to prevent the introduction
and spread of disease. CEFAS is therefore particularly pleased to
be associated with the aims and objectives of the English Carp Heritage
The creation of ECHO in 2002 represented an enormous
step forward for UK carp fishing. By encouraging and educating anglers
to be more aware of their own responsibilities towards protecting
our indigenous stocks, particularly against diseases introduced
by illegally imported fish, it has significantly improved the status
and reputation of fishing in general, and carp angling in particular.
ECHO has succeeded in unifying a large and growing
section of the UK's angling and fisheries fraternity. Its development,
in terms of influence and direction, is encouraging the setting
of new and improved standards in angling, fish welfare and fisheries
management across the industry. Its expanding influence in mainland
Europe will also serve to educate others, thus further helping to
prevent illegal imports of live fish entering the UK.
It has proved itself to be a responsible and highly
respected organisation. We look forward to working closely with
ECHO in the future, and we wish them continued success.
Head of CEFAS Inspectorate.
PRESS RELEASE FROM CEFAS -
10th October 2003
FISH SMUGGLING - To be or not to be - that is the question.
It's that time of the year again when temperatures
fall, along with the leaves and the hopes of all sane anglers that
the fish smugglers have seen the error of their ways and have decided
instead to join ECHO, or go to church, or even take the kids out
for the day. Such thoughts are dreams made of. The reality is that
this sordid little band are probably already planning their next
trips to the continent with the prospect of easy money, and to hell
with the consequences.
Some may use their own vehicle, whilst others will
hire a van. Some will buy the fish cheaply, and others will just
steal them. Some may question whether it is safe to try to come
in through Dover whilst others may try alternative ports such as
Harwich, Southampton, or perhaps Portsmouth, which is the port favoured
by one suspected smuggler. Some will go out on one route and come
back in on another. Others may get some 'extras' put in with a legitimate
consignment. Some may do it themselves, whilst others will get one
lame brain to go and catch them and another to collect them. Should
they get the fish direct from eastern Europe or wait until they
have been laundered in western Europe? Decisions, decisions. But
none are concerned with the welfare of fish or the spread of disease.
But the smugglers should understand that while they have been doing
their planning, a lot of other people have also been putting plans
in place. Things have changed a good deal in recent years and whatever
tactics the smugglers employ it's likely to be a little bit more
difficult for them this year than last year. Just as last year was
a bit more difficult than the year before that.
The CEFAS inspectorate publicly declared some time
ago that it would never be able to stop illegal imports of live
fish on its own, and it sought the help of other agencies, anglers,
the press and people in the fish and fisheries trade at home and
abroad. That help has been forthcoming, due in large part to the
dedication and leadership provided by ECHO and the support of the
angling press. These efforts have not been directed simply towards
helping CEFAS stop consignments coming in but aimed specifically
at 'education - not condemnation,' thus effectively increasing the
awareness of the problem and reducing the market for smuggled foreign
fish. The results have been phenomenal.
CEFAS cannot claim that everything is perfectly
in place and that no fish will come in illegally. What it can claim,
however, is that with this continuing support, life for the smuggler
is likely to be less comfortable and less profitable in future.
Their miserable activities are no longer acceptable to a growing
number of dedicated anglers, thus the chances of them being identified,
caught and prosecuted have significantly improved.
Over the long hot summer there appears to have
been little activity by the smugglers, but no one is kidding themselves
that this situation will continue. CEFAS, along with colleagues
in the Environment Agency, police, HM Customs, State Veterinary
Service and other agencies at home and abroad are aware of the situation
and the likely increase in activity over the coming months. The
Gendarmerie and the Garde de Peche are more than a little interested
in events in France, as are the RVV inspectors in Holland. ECHO's
continental members have also expressed a particular interest in
We will be doing as much as we can to stop disease
being brought into the country, but we can do so much more with
If any of your readers has any information concerning
fish smuggling please contact CEFAS in confidence. Alternatively,
they may prefer to contact ECHO or the Environment Agency's National
Fish Movements Team who will pass on the information to us. Either
way, just do it! Do it for the good of your sport and the welfare
of your fish.
CEFAS Investigations Inspector
To contact CEFAS:
Tel: 01305-206681 (Out of hours answer-phone facility)
Main office: 01305 - 206673
Fax: 01305 - 206602
E Mail: email@example.com
To contact ECHO:
Tel: 01252 861486
(in emergency contact 07720 274514)
To contact the EA's National Fish Movement
Tel: 01840 414581
Out of hours: 0800 807060
SAA Perspective on ECHO
ECHO provides a much needed focus for caring carp
anglers. The efforts of Chilly and Co have already made a huge difference
to the way that carp anglers are perceived, both within and outside
The Specialist Anglers' Alliance (SAA and formerly
the SACG) has been crying out for input from carp anglers for many
years. We have been very aware of the problems facing carp and carp
waters in this country but historically have not had the resources
to effectively combat many of these problems.
The development of ECHO into a mainstream, open
membership, structure has transformed the early perception of ECHO
(more correctly ECLA) as a slightly inward looking, single issue
group into a wide ranging, campaigning organization. Indeed the
efforts of ECHO in galvanizing carp anglers into supporting the
'Stop a Smuggler' campaign have been recognized by both the National
Angling Alliance (NAA) and the Moran Committee. These two bodies
provide the link between mainstream angling representation and the
government, so their support for ECHO and the campaign is no small
SAA can provide ECHO with further such contacts
within angling representation and maybe some advice on where your
efforts can be best directed. We have been in this game since 1990
(as SACG) and have made plenty of mistakes along the way, so maybe
we can help ECHO avoid some of the same pitfalls.
Finally the way to change how things are done is
to get inside the system and effect change from within. The concept
behind SAA (and the NAA and Moran for that matter) is one of mutual
support. If one angling body highlights an issue for attention,
then by working together all the other member groups can lend their
support. That way we maximize the number of anglers speaking with
a common voice. As somebody once said 'it is better to be on the
inside pissing out, than on the outside pissing in!"
Here's to a long and productive association.
Vice President SAA
ECHO gains 'National Angling Alliance'
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
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
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
On Thursday the chairman of the English Carp Heritage Organisation,
Ian 'Chillie' Chilcott, accompanied by ECHO committee member Viv Shears
of RMC Angling, gave a talk to government scientists and fish health
inspectors at their CEFAS laboratories in Weymouth. Representative
from the Environment Agency were also present.
In a 'no holds barred' session Ian made an impassioned appeal on behalf
of anglers for all of the various government and non-government agencies
involved in fish and fisheries to work together to protect the heritage
of English carp and other species for future generations. He gave
the angler's perspective on the dangers of importing diseased fish
from abroad and illustrated the possible consequences of a widespread
disease outbreak on the sport, and on those with an interest in it.
He stressed the need for more research to be carried out to obtain
a clearer understanding of how to identify and prevent the various
forms of fish disease. "Fish identification is another important
area for research. We have come an awful long way in the past two
years" said Ian, "but it's widely accepted by the vast majority
of anglers who care about fish that things have still got to change.
We've got to care more about these beautiful creatures and protect
them, if we are to keep them for future generations. The way fish
are being moved about all over the continent, and then put in large
numbers into puddles over here where they can be caught time and time
again is wrong - we all know its wrong. It should be about more than
In his response, the head of the CEFAS inspectorate Eric Hudson, thanked
ECHO for the tremendous boost which CEFAS had received from the organisation,
and from the popular fishing press, in it's attempts to combat illegal
imports of live fish. He agreed that it was only when everyone worked
together that problems are overcome. He went on to say that much progress
had been made in this area but that there was much still to do. He
said CEFAS would be very keen to develop a research programme with
ECHO once the subject areas are identified. He added that work was
already underway at the laboratory on a number of projects which may
help in some of the areas which had been discussed.
After hearing a talk on the work of the CEFAS inspectorate Ian and
Viv were shown around the laboratory and spoke enthusiastically to
various scientists who are currently involved in fish disease research
and development projects. All were keen to involve themselves in new
and developing areas of research work, particularly on practical projects
aimed at the long-term protection of our fish and the environment."
"It's been an eye-opener for us" said Viv, "The
facilities here are fabulous, and the keenness of everyone we spoke
to was good to see. They're as keen as we are to find solutions. I'm