An 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 sport.

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 matter.

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.

Tim Marks

Vice President SAA
September 2003