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News from 2015

Fish Legal calls for action to save river Dee

17 December 2015

Fish Legal has called on Scottish Environmental Protection Agency to take action and prevent a major environmental incident to the river Dee. 

The river faces the risk of significant environmental damage if large quantities of unsecured earth and silt from engineering works on the Aberdeen By-pass are washed into the river by severe winter storms.  Siltation of the river bed can cause enormous damage to river life including salmon spawning grounds.  

Acting on behalf of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, Fish Legal has made its request under the Environmental Liability Directive.

The Angling Trust, Fish Legal and WWF-UK have secured a major step forward for the protection of England’s most important rivers and wetlands.

27 November 2015

At a Judicial Review in the High Court, the three organisations claimed ministerial involvement had stifled action to address harmful pollution from farms – despite the Government legally committing to ensuring that the 44 protected freshwater sites were healthy by 2015.

The High Court judge recognised the need for urgent action to protect these sites and the wildlife that lives there. As a result of the legal victory, the Government must evaluate the use of mandatory Water Protection Zones. alongside voluntary steps by farmers, which have so far failed to protect these vulnerable places from farm pollution.

The judge in the case, Sir Andrew Collins, said it was “obviously of the greater importance” that proper measures were taken as soon as possible to meet the obligations of the Water Framework Directive.  He added: “We all know our wildlife is suffering as a result of pollution and not only wildlife, but people as well.”

Defra and the Environment Agency produced a position statement following the High Court hearing which can be downloaded below. Whilst not accepting that they had applied a “last resort doctrine” to the use of Water Protection Zones as such, due to this legal action Defra and the EA have now agreed to evaluate using and deploying them at specific conservation sites.


Water Companies ‘Testing the Water’ with Environmental Information Requests

27 November 2015

Following on from Fish Legal’s major victory in the ground-breaking case which saw water companies in England & Wales newly subjected to a legal duty to disclose environmental information they hold to the public, it would seem the companies are now testing (and thereby seeking to limit) the fairly wide parameters of the information they are under a duty to disclose.

The Information Commissioner (ICO) recently rejected an argument put forwards by one water company that once water is abstracted from boreholes and reservoirs, pumped to water treatment works and then transported to personal and business properties via the mains network, it should no longer be considered an environmental element as its containment means it can no longer interact with the environment.   This would mean data about, for example, drinking water, would no longer be subject to disclosure in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations.

The ICO soundly rejected this argument as their own guidance on ‘What is Environmental Information’ refers to water as an environmental element which includes ”…water underground or on the surface and water in natural settings and man-made systems.”  The ICO decision document can be accessed here.

MORE 2015 NEWS IN BRIEF...


Revive the Clyde7 December 2015

Angling Trust and Fish Legal Urge Members to Back the Recovery of Recreational Angling on the Firth of Clyde.
Read more...



Algal bloom on Llyn Padarn24 November 2015

Fish Legal in High Court battle to save rare endangered fish at Llyn Padarn in North Wales

The latest round of litigation to save the endangered Arctic char at Llyn Padarn in North Wales is set to kick off on the 24th November at Caernarfon court centre.
Read more...

Royal 
Courts of Justice20 November 2015

The Angling Trust, Fish Legal and WWF-UK have secured a major step forward for the protection of England’s most important rivers and wetlands.


At a Judicial Review in the High Court, the three organisations claimed ministerial involvement had stifled action to address harmful pollution from farms – despite the Government legally committing to ensuring that the 44 protected freshwater sites were healthy by 2015.
Read more...

Grove Lodge8 October 2015


Fish Legal Secures £6,500 "Fish Kill" Compensation For Todmorden Anglers
.
Read more...




Wellow Brook9 July 2015

Fish Legal still concerned about Environment Agency's failure to prosecute "tsunami of slurry" case.
Read more...




Witham pollution6 July 2015

Fish Legal pursues compensation after "devastating" fertiliser pollution kills hundreds of fish.
Read more...




Swansea Bay10 June 2015

Swansea tidal lagoon approved despite huge uncertainties about impact on fish. 
Anglers in South Wales and the Bristol Channel are bitterly disappointed that the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change has this week given development consent for the massive tidal lagoon hydropower project proposed for Swansea Bay.
Read more...


Wellow Brook26 March 2015

Slurry spill farmer let off with donation to charity rather than prosecution, by Environment Agency without consultation with angling clubs affected.
Read more...



Grove Lodge19 March 2015

Fish Legal has sent a 'letter before action' to Multiroof Building Products Ltd
claiming compensation for its member club the Todmorden Angling Society.  The claim follows a massive fire and servies of explosions in May 2012.
Read more...


torgoch13 March 2015

Fish Legal has issued another judicial review against Natural Resources Wales (NRW) as part of a long-running campaign to save the endangered Arctic char at Llyn Padarn, North Wales.
Read more...


Fish Legal and Emily Shirley v ICO and Water Cos20 February 2015

Fish Legal Wins Historic Judgment to Prevent Water Industry Hiding its Dirty Secrets

The environmental and angling organisation, Fish Legal, has won a major victory in a groundbreaking case against Yorkshire Water Services Ltd and United Utilities Plc, which was the culmination of a six year legal campaign for greater transparency within the water and sewerage industry. 

The Upper Tribunal has ruled that water companies in England & Wales are ‘public authorities’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations (2004) and so are under a legal duty to disclose environmental information they hold to the public.   Read more...


Llyn Padarn5 February 2015
Fish Legal warns Welsh regulator of further court action to save rare and protected fish
Fish Legal has sent Natural Resources Wales (NRW) a ‘letter before action’ for failing to protect the rare Arctic char in Llyn Padarn, North Wales. The letter sets out significant problems with the regulator’s decision that Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water, and the nearby Dinorwig Power Station operated by First Hydro, should not be held fully liable for the damage they have caused to the protected site. The letter warns that NRW will be taken to court unless it properly addresses the environmental damage caused by these companies. Read more...


Loch Torridon28 January 2015

Principles of time limited planning permissions for fish farms affirmed by the Scottish Government.

Read more...

Contact: Fish Legal - Eastwood House | 6 Rainbow Street | Leominster | HR6 8DQ | Tel: 01568 620447

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