International Scene

ECHO & THE EUROPEAN CARP PROTECTION ORGANISATION (ECPO)

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.

The 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 fishing
Commercial netsmen 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 :

Holland
Dutch Carp Study Group (KSN)
Karper Groupe 20
Karper Club 25

In addition ECPO has talked with the NVVS ( Dutch Anglers Assoc) and AID ( the Dutch fisheries agency)

Belgium
VBK
Belgian Fisheries Group ( Voor Belgie)
France
CAMOU
French Federation of Anglers
Luxemborg
Section Carp
Germany
German Carp Angling Club
Italy
Italian carp federation
Spain
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 have.

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

Mark 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 against it.

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 stealing carp.

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